By Caleb Tallman
Maryland sports betting is a reality with legislation passed over a year ago. However, Maryland sports bettors have had to remain patient, as regulators have taken quite a while to allow sportsbooks to open officially.
This is partly because Maryland has had a more complicated approach to sports betting than other states that have already legalized sports betting.
Maryland Sports Betting Laws Broken Down
For starters, Maryland, which is relatively small geographically and only 18th in population, will allow up to 60 sports betting licenses. There are not even 60 national sports betting brands in the country.
The 60 licenses will allow smaller, new mom-and-pop style sportsbooks to get in on the action. Many independent operators will be allowed to take bets and are not required to have casino partners.
There will be five different classes of sports betting licenses.
A-1: Includes professional sports venues of the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Commanders, Baltimore Ravens, and any future pro teams. It also includes any casinos that have over 1,000 video lottery terminals. A-1 class venues have a $2 million application fee and a license bond of $6 million.
A-2: Includes video lottery operators with less than 1,000 terminals and the Laurel Park and Pamlico racecourse horse racing venues. Any A-2 class venues have $1 million application fees and $3 million license bonds.
B-1: Includes any venue over the class B-2 limits and the Maryland State Fairgrounds. Licenses fees are $250,00 with a $750,000 license bond.
B-2: Includes companies with fewer than 25 employees and an aggregate gross receipt total of under $3 million. Venues include small businesses and bingo halls. License fees are $50,000 with a $75,000 license bond.
Top Sports to Look For In Maryland
With so many licenses allowed in the state, almost every notable sportsbook operator in the country will be in Maryland. Maryland sports bettors will have the best range of sportsbooks to pick from as anyone in the United States.
Some of the major sportsbooks include:
Each of those plus more will have at least one retail location while also being available online.
When Will Maryland Sports Betting Operators be Allowed to Launch?
That is the answer all Maryland sports bettors are searching for. There have been various reports recently on when it is possible. Most recently, Maryland’s Governor pushed for it to be ready by the first week of the NFL season. That would seem to be quite soon but with the support of the Governor, consider it possible.
While other reports suggest that the latest bets could be placed is early in 2023, definitely by the Super Bowl. Realistically Maryland bettors should expect it to fall somewhere in the middle. One thing seems likely, though: Maryland bettors should get a chance to place wagers sometime during football season this year.