- Sports Betting remains illegal (exception offshore online sports betting)
- Won’t be legal until 2021 at the earliest
- Play online, at neighboring states, or come back in one year.
Top 3 Maryland Sportsbooks Online
Maryland Sports Betting Legality
Sports betting onshore ain’t going to be legalized this year!
After all the faffing around last year, with the hope of someone (anyone) approving something, we now have a prefiled bill which if approved will then permit a referendum to take place in November 2020 for the people to vote on legalizing sports betting in the state.
Along with Louisiana, Maryland may be THE slowest state in considering legalizing sports betting. It’s the race of the two turtles – I put my money on Maryland to legalize sports betting first.
What will it take for Sports Betting to be legalized?
The one and only bill, prefiled by Republican Sen. Chris West, needs to be approved when state legislature early this year. If this is not approved, it will be back to the drawing board. After which, who knows if there will be another attempt to lodge a sports betting bill.
In order to amend the State’s constitution gambling laws, a referendum must be held. The earliest that this can occur is November 2020 (only if SB58 is approved). Hence a lot is riding on SB58 being approved.
Once SB58 is approved, the referendum requires a simply majority obtained by the people of Marylands.
And if all goes well, with the people have given their thumbs up in November, 30 days following sports betting become legalized.
Great, so when can I start betting?
If all goes to plan, and sports betting is legalized in late 2020, several more months will be needed to confirm:
- Online and mobile app sports betting,
- Taxation and funding,
- Regulatory, licensing and compliance.
As you can see, there is still a long way to go!
1. Online and mobile app sports betting
Many of the large casinos operating in Maryland are supportive of offering online and mobile sports betting. They believe it is the only way of allowing sports betting to grow and to compete against the offshore sports betting books which accept US sports bettors.
They often reference New Jersey’s success in sports betting as the state which has offered mobile sports betting.
Others want a slow and steady approach. They want to confine sports betting to be in-person and on-site. This would means placing sports bets through terminals and kiosks, at the 6 existing casinos in the state.
2. Taxation and funding
No details have been pre-filed with SB58 that outlines the tax implications of legalizing sports betting. Obviously this will need to be determined before sports betting can be made open to the public, hence there is still a long way to go.
SB58, however, has outlined that funds are to be directed to public education and other community initiatives.
3. Licensing, regulatory and compliance
Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission will be authorized to issue sports betting licenses. It is intended that the six pre-existing casinos will form part of the locations that will be allowed to apply for licenses.
Three casinos dominate the casino revenue in the State.
- MGM National Harbor
- Maryland Live!
- Horseshoe Baltimore
Maryland Live!, in fact, has already secured a partnership with FanDuel to open a sportsbook once legalized.
After the big three, are the small three, which offer limited slots and table games.
- Rocky Gap Resort
- Hollywood Perryville
- Ocean Downs
Maryland Online Sports Betting
Unbeknownst to many, online sports betting has been occurring for many years. Maryland sports betting turnover for 2019 was $21.5 million, wagered via online sport betting sites. These online sport betting sites are offshore and are open to accepting US players.
Is this illegal?
It is a gray area. The current state laws do not clearly articulate whether gambling offshore online is illegal or not. Therefore, you will find many online sports books (and online casinos) accepting US players from states that have ambiguous gambling laws – Maryland is one of those states.
Is it dangerous?
There are two aspects to this question.
Firstly, will you get caught or fined?
I highly doubt it. Till this day, there has been no precedence of anyone being charged with breaking the law for playing at offshore online sports betting books or offshore online casinos.
Secondly, are offshore sports betting books trustworthy and reliable?
Very much so. They have been operating in the market for many years and sports betting is a clear cut outcome (when compared to online casino games). It’s therefore extremely difficult to argue that an outcome of a sports bet is wrong.
How can I find an online Sports Book?
The most popular offshore sports book is Bovada. It is the largest and has a long standing history of operating a sports book for US citizens.
Do NOT place a bet at an unlicensed sports book operating offshore. Unlicensed sportsbooks may not be reliable. Although they may offer great Welcome Bonuses, their promise to pay any winnings may be empty. Keep with the trusted and big branded names.
How can I place a Sports Bet onshore?
By far the easiest way is to place a bet via offshore sports betting sites.
The alternative is to head towards a neighboring state which has legalized sports betting. Don’t go to Virginia – they have yet to legalize sports betting. However all other surrounding states offers sports betting Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware and Washington D.C.
Popular Maryland Sport Bets
- Sports Betting Baltimore Ravens (NFL)
- Sports Betting Washington Redskins (NFL)
- Sports Betting Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
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