Online Gambling Maryland – Legal at MD Gambling Sites?
You may not know this, but Maryland is one of the oldest pro-gambling states in the country. It is the host site for The Preakness Stakes and essentially, the birthplace of major horse racing in North America in the 18th century.
In the 1940s to 1960s, the only places you could legally play slot machines in America were Nevada and four counties in Maryland, which is home to six brick-and-mortar casinos today.
Sports fans have been allowed to wager on their favorite professional sports teams since 2021. However, Maryland residents are currently limited to in-person wagering at retail sportsbooks.
Retail licenses were issued quickly, but sports fans are still waiting for an official online sports betting launch. Locally-regulated online sports betting sites are still going through the licensing process.
As you can tell, gambling goes back deep with this state, but that history of openness doesn’t extend to all types of gambling. Online casino games like poker, online slots, and table games are still prohibited.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain the world of online gambling for Maryland residents. Find out what is legal, where you can play online casino games for real money today, and how to choose the offshore sportsbooks for gambling in Maryland.
Maryland Betting Guides
We offer many other online betting guides to Maryland bettors which will cover every aspect of a given betting market.
Best Maryland Online Gambling Sites 2023
We have prepared a top 10 list of the best online betting sites that Maryland users can join immediately. We go through hundreds of sites and grade them by our set of important criteria, and these were chosen as the highest-graded options.
- Bookmaker – Early lines and great VIP program
- Heritage Sports – Unique perks and live betting
- Bovada – America’s busiest poker room and a great racebook design
- BetOnline – Elite payout speed and great casino game library
- BetAnySports – play the lottery from home
- BetUS – Produces their own TV service with expert analysis
- WagerWeb – good for crypto users
- JustBet – Sister site to Bookmaker
- Everygame – The best site design in the industry
- SportsBetting – Sister site to BetOnline
The Best Maryland Gambling Site Reviews
Our top 10 offshore sportsbooks are all located in Costa Rica or the Caribbean – areas where online gambling is legal for adults. The offshore aspect of these sites means they do not need to be regulated by Maryland’s laws, so that is why you could join them today and play casino games despite the state not legalizing that activity yet. You can feel safe to join any of these sites, but for your reference, we have written a detailed review for each site in our top 10 list.
1. Bookmaker: Early Lines and Elite Rewards Program
Bookmaker is a Costa Rica-based sportsbook that has been operating since 1996. It is an A+ rated site with arguably the best online sportsbook for sports bettors. By getting the lines up so early, you can pounce on the odds at Bookmaker before they inevitably move later in the week after money comes in heavy on one side.
You don’t get as many props as some of the competition, but for betting sides and totals, Bookmaker is the top of the class. They also do a very good job with their racebook, and while the casino only has 33 slot games, you can see the RTP (return-to-player rate) on each, which is not something the competition shows. The higher the RTP, the better it is for you to play that game as you’ll win more of your money back on average.
- Arguably the best for sharp sports bettors thanks to early lines
- One of the best racebooks
- Great reload bonus when you reach third tier of loyalty program
- Many will prefer the prop builders on Bovada and BetOnline
- Small casino selection
2. Heritage Sports: Unique Perks
Formerly an invite-only site, Heritage Sports has expanded its clientele by allowing anyone to join the Costa Rica-based sportsbook, which has been operating since 2001 and receives an A+ rating from Bookmakers Review.
Sports bettors will love the reduced juice-cash back program, the deep live betting markets that work well on a mobile device, and the plethora of transaction methods. If you want to live bet on a South Korean baseball game at 3:00 AM, Heritage Sports is your go-to site. But they also do props and parlays well too.
The e-sports section is as good as any in our top 10 list. The casino does not have the most flashy slot games or many games that look like they were designed in the last five years, but they have a variety and you can test them all for free with demo versions, which is always a nice touch.
The bonuses are not as big as the competition, but Heritage Sports is proud of its ongoing promotions like the cash-back programs, giving you a free birthday parlay (value of $500), or making every eighth deposit on the house (taking the average of previous seven deposits).
- Reduced juice and cash back program is worth exploring
- Solid mobile site
- Arguably the best for e-sports
- Cool perks like getting a free birthday parlay
- Live betting works great for wide variety of markets
- Limits are not as high as competition
- Smaller bonuses than Bovada and BetOnline
3. Bovada: Ideal Spot for Props and Poker
Whether you are looking to join an offshore casino for the first time or have been an experienced gambler, Bovada offers an all-around, high-quality experience.
There are multiple areas in which Bovada ranks as the best or in the conversation for the best in our list. Those would be the poker room that has the highest traffic of U.S. players, the prop builder for many sports markets, the design of their racebook with tracks from around the world, and their interesting choices of virtual racing games that work much like video slots.
Bovada also offers a casino with over 130 slots, seven types of blackjack, and live dealer games. You do not get demo versions to play or RTP rates, but the casino section is sufficient if you were to make Bovada your primary online casino for your gambling needs. They are also very crypto-friendly with their bonuses and other promotions.
- Elite prop builder
- Mobile site works great
- Arguably the best for poker tournaments
- Fun, niche markets like virtual racing and lottery-style numbers game
- Not as many perks/promos after initial deposit bonus
- Slot selection is limited compared to BetOnline
4. BetOnline: Known for Opinionated Lines and Poker
BetOnline is another home run for Costa Rica as its A+ rating shows. You get access to one of the best sportsbooks with opinionated lines on the most popular American professional league markets. The prop builder is right up there with Bovada’s. The poker tournaments are also right up there with Bovada’s, though the traffic is not as high volume.
The casino section is huge, and the games run well on the mobile site. One complaint would be a lack of demo versions, but you’ll be impressed with the choices, many of them found exclusively at BetOnline. They also do horse racing and e-sports better than most.
The first-deposit bonuses are generous, and there are also reload bonuses and rebates for losses. We like the unique promotions for sports like getting your wager back if your NFL team gets shut out, but we wish the reduced juice (-105 lines) was available for more than just the NHL, the least popular of the four major American leagues.
- Sports lines you won’t see elsewhere
- A massive amount of casino games
- Payments sent as fast as anyone in the business
- Same-game parlay features lacking compared to US-based rivals
- Casino bonus funds only eligible for select games
- Reduced juice is generous (-105) but limited to NHL markets
5. BetAnySports: Good for Sports and Lottery Fans
BetAnySports is not as flashy as other sites, but it still offers one of the best player prop builders in our list, features a wide variety of games at seven different casinos, and they do live betting well.
BetAnySports also differentiates itself in the market in two ways. First, their reduced juice on sports betting is -105 odds, besting the competition that offers -108. The other way is this is the only online casino where you can bet on the state lottery drawings at various states each day. Unfortunately, none of the Maryland drawings are included here, but if you ever wanted to play your number in another state drawing, you can do it here from your favorite mobile device.
- The best reduced juice (-105)
- Solid prop builder
- High variety in casinos
- 80% better payouts with state lottery winnings
- Smaller betting limits than some rivals
- No Maryland state lottery games available
6. BetUS: Get Expert Predictions from BetUS TV
BetUS has been around since 1994 and does everything quite well to give Maryland users an all-around online gambling experience. From a performance standpoint, there are better sportsbooks, there are better racebooks, and there are better casinos, but BetUS does give you a quality experience in each facet of online gambling.
There are also some areas where BetUS stands out above the competition, and presentation and information to make you better at gambling are two of them. BetUS has different guides on how to play blackjack, how to use crypto, and they offer expert analysis via their own video service on YouTube called BetUS TV. They cover just about every sport with a variety of shows on there.
The selection of casino games is also deep with a lot of new, flashier games than those found at Bookmaker or Heritage Sports. You also get to try them all for fun with free demo versions using a fake money balance to see if you might be interested in playing to win real money.
- BetUS TV service makes it stand out for expert analysis
- Great for blackjack fans
- Informative betting guides
- Promotions are crypto-friendly deals
- One of the best for having demo versions of every casino game
- Some casino games crash on mobile site
- Not enough diverse payment methods
- No standalone e-sports section but there are bets available on e-sports
7. WagerWeb: Free Bitcoin Payouts
Founded in 1994, WagerWeb hails from Costa Rice as an A-graded sportsbook. It is one of the few on our list with reduced juice lines (-108 instead of -110), and the experience it most closely resembles is Heritage Sports. You will find dozens of live betting markets and a solid collection of casino games to choose from. They also have a racebook that offers 5% rebates every Monday on your losses.
Compared to Heritage Sports, we docked WagerWeb some points for not providing 24/7 customer service. Their days begin at 10:00 AM and run through the end of the last game that day. They also have lower credit card acceptance than the competition, and their promotions are a little too focused on Bitcoin users.
- Similar to Heritage Sports with cashback programs
- 5% casino cashback with no rollover every Monday
- Live betting works great on mobile device
- Crypto-friendly for transactions
- Decades of experience in the business
- Lesser promotions than Heritage Sports
- Customer service does not open until 10:00 a.m.
- Some withdrawals are not available on weekends
8. JustBet: 24/7 Customer Service
JustBet was bought out by Bookmaker in 2013 and for the last decade, they have operated as sister sites offering very similar experiences. That means you can count on early betting lines and high limits, an ideal setup for serious sports bettors. But there are other features beyond the sportsbook such as their quality racebook and some casino game offerings.
The knock on JustBet is that it just does not differentiate itself enough from Bookmaker to actively use them both at the same time. If you are satisfied with Bookmaker, one of our top-graded online sportsbooks, then you should continue using that. But if you’re new to offshore sportsbooks, then you should check out JustBet.
- Part of a reputable ownership with Bookmaker
- Ideal site for high rollers thanks to large limits
- Take advantage of early sports lines
- Great three-tier loyalty program
- Parlays with correlated plays from same game are prohibited (i.e. can’t parlay puck lines with totals in same hockey game)
- Lacks originality over Bookmaker
9. Everygame: Best Looking Mobile Site
Based in Antigua, Everygame has been around since 1996 and only recently rebranded itself from Intertops to Everygame. They really do offer every game too, and you can even bet on something unique like the South African Powerball drawing.
The betting limits and welcome bonuses could be higher, horse racing fans are left in the dust, and serious sports bettors will have more fun with Bovada, Bookmaker, and BetOnline. But Everygame is a top choice for Maryland gamblers looking for a great-looking site that has poker software, an abundance of casino games, and plenty of live betting markets.
- Plentiful betting markets
- Sharp site design
- Download poker software for free
- Casino games include free demo versions
- Horse racing fans will be disappointed with lack of racebook section
- Customer service lacks a direct phone number to call
10. SportsBetting: BetOnline’s Sister Site
SportsBetting patterns itself after BetOnline, one of our top-ranked online gambling sites. Like with BetOnline, you’ll get access to a good sportsbook, poker room, racebook, esports, plenty of live betting choices, and some fun contests that do pay big prizes to the winners. You also get some of the fastest payouts in the industry and some fun promotions for placing sports bets that go terribly wrong like your team blowing a big lead or getting shut out.
Compared to BetOnline, SportsBetting’s site design is not quite as good, and the casino section has far fewer slot choices. They have downloadable poker software, but you will find more options to play against using BetOnline.
- Creative promotions, especially for sports bets
- Same ownership group as BetOnline, so expect fast payouts
- Specialty games selection (keno) in casino
- BetOnline has better site design for building parlays
- No demo versions of casino games
Maryland Online Gambling – The Top Sites Compared
For reference, this chart will show you how our top 10 compare in their ratings, payment methods, how long they have been around, and a link to our in-depth review at Bookmakers Review for each.
|Sportsbook||Rating||Online Since||Payment Methods||Read Review|
|Bookmaker||A+||1996||Credit Card, Bitcoin, P2P, Crypto||Bookmaker Review|
|Heritage Sports||A+||2001||Credit Card, Bitcoin, Cashiers Check, Bank Transfer, P2P||Heritage Sports Review|
|Bovada||A+||2011||Credit Card, Bitcoin||Bovada Review|
|BetOnline||A+||2001||Credit Card, Bitcoin, Crypto, Cashiers Check, Bank Transfer, P2P||BetOnline Review|
|BetAnySports||A+||2002||Credit Card, Bitcoin, Electronic Check||BetAnySports Review|
|BetUS||A||2000||Credit Card, Bitcoin, Bank Transfer, P2P||BetUS Review|
|WagerWeb||A||1994||Credit Card, Bitcoin, Cashiers Check, Bank Transfer, P2P||WagerWeb Review|
|JustBet||A||2000||Credit Card, Bitcoin, P2P, Crypto||JustBet Review|
|Everygame||A||1996||Credit Card, Bitcoin, Skrill, Neteller, Bank Transfer, P2P||Everygame Review|
|SportsBetting||A||2002||Credit Card, Bitcoin, Crypto, Cashiers Check, Bank Transfer, P2P||SportsBetting Review|
Is online gambling legal in Maryland?
Yes, online gambling is legal in Maryland, but it is not a state like nearby Pennsylvania or New Jersey where all types of gambling are legal. We break down the two most popular forms and how they differ in legality in the next section.
Current State of Online Sports Gambling in Maryland
In 2021, a bill was passed to legalize online sports gambling in Maryland. Governor Larry Hogan even went to a casino in December 2021 and made the first legal bet himself at an in-person sportsbook.
The state has fallen behind, though, when it comes to issuing online sports betting licenses, but before the end of 2022, the first mobile licenses were finally issued.
Current State of Online Casino Gambling in Maryland
It seems silly, but while you can download a DraftKings or FanDuel app to play Daily Fantasy Sports, and will soon be able to use those apps for mobile wagering on sports, you will not be able to play casino games online in Maryland. This is the case for many states at the moment, including Colorado.
The big bill passed in 2021 only covered sports wagering. It does not encompass the kinds of casino games you can expect an online casino to have like poker (tournaments and video poker variants), table games, baccarat, and specialty games (keno and scratchcards).
Maybe there will be a change in the near future to the legal status for casino games if the sports wagering goes really well as it should, but for now, they are technically not legal in Maryland. However, they are still available to you today if you use reputable offshore sportsbooks such as Bookmaker, Heritage Sports, Bovada, and BetOnline.
History of Gambling in Maryland
There is a deep history of gambling in Maryland going back to a time before the United States was founded. The following is just a small timeline of some of the important, historical gambling events in the Free State:
- 1743 – The Maryland Jockey Club forms with a vision for horse racing, becoming North America’s oldest sporting organization.
- 1834 – The Maryland General Assembly votes to prohibit any lottery drawings in the state.
- 1870 – Pimlico Race Course opens in Baltimore, and the first horse, named Preakness, to win a race at the track lends its name to what would become the second-most watched race in the country each year behind only the Kentucky Derby.
- 1873 – The first running of the famed Preakness Stakes takes place at Pimlico.
- 1920 – The Maryland Racing Commission is created to regulate the state’s horse racing circuit.
- 1947 – Slot machines are legalized in four counties, helping Maryland join Nevada as the only places in the country with legal slots at the time.
- 1963 – According to the Slot Machine Study Committee, the four Maryland counties with slots had 9,300 machines and made at least $24 million in revenue.
- 1968 – Slot machines are completely outlawed in Maryland.
- 1973 – Maryland state lottery begins selling tickets
- 2008 – Maryland voters approve using slot machine revenue to help a declining horse racing market.
- 2010 – Hollywood Casino Perryville is the first casino to open in the state.
- 2012 – Table games are legalized at casinos.
- 2016 – Casual poker games hosted at home are legalized as long as they follow a set of conditions.
- 2018 – The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which was passed in 1992 to ban sports betting, is overturned by the Supreme Court, opening the door for states to have the right to make sports betting legal.
- 2020 – In a referendum, voters had overwhelming support for legal sports betting in the state
- 2021 – Bill HB 940 is signed into law, legalizing online sports betting in the state. Governor Larry Hogan places the first legal sports bet in the state at a casino.
- 2022 – Dozens of retail sportsbooks apply for licensing through the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission to hopefully launch their online sportsbook apps for mobile betting by the end of the calendar year.
Advantages of Online Gambling Sites for Maryland Users
There are six main brick-and-mortar casinos in Maryland as well as some bingo halls, card rooms, and other small gambling establishments.
But there are advantages to using an online betting site that these commercial casinos cannot compete with. Here are some of those advantages if you use offshore sportsbooks like the ones we just reviewed:
- Get access to some of the deepest sports markets from around the world with online sportsbooks that also offer live betting.
- Enjoy gambling on your time at your leisure in any style of dress or level of cleanliness you desire.
- Avoid touching dirty cash.
- Save on gas money, especially if the nearest casino is far away from your location.
- Do your transactions with crypto and a variety of other payment methods.
- Avoid picking up germs from crowds during an active pandemic.
- Get paid in your account of choice in a timely manner.
- Better bonuses and promotions than going to the casino in person.
- Play free demos of casino games to decide if it’s worth your real money or not.
Is my financial info safe with an online gambling site in Maryland?
In an age of so many online schemes and phishing attacks, you do have to be careful about sharing any personal and financial info online.
We understand that you may not feel comfortable about sending a picture of your photo ID card to a site located in Costa Rica, but we can assure you all the companies in our reviews are legitimate, safe, and trustworthy for you to use. They have been operating legally for years in Costa Rica. We would not recommend a site if we thought it had a tarnished or shady reputation.
What kind of online gambling is legal in Maryland?
The legal forms of online gambling in Maryland include horse racing, daily fantasy sports, and sports betting. You can also subscribe to a state lottery service to play four different games online.
Online casino games (poker, slots, table games, etc.) are not currently legal in Maryland. Even when apps like the DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook soon launch in Maryland, you will not be able to play their casino offerings as that was not part of the 2021 bill to expand online wagering in the state.
Until there is a change on this front, your best bet is an offshore casino such as Bookmaker, Heritage Sports, Bovada, and BetOnline They will have all your gambling needs taken care of today.
When will online gambling be fully legal in Maryland?
No one could give an accurate date for this question. Given how things are moving on the gambling front across the United States since PASPA was overturned in 2018, it could very well be in this decade that you will be able to pick up your phone in Maryland, place a bet on the Ravens or Orioles, and then play a few slot games or video poker.
But there has to be movement on the legal side of things for that to happen with the US-based companies that need to be regulated by the laws in Maryland. Currently, there is no proposed bill to legalize online casino games. The hope is that if sports betting goes really well and starts bringing in revenue to the state that is supposed to go into funding education, then maybe it’s just a matter of time before the online casino games are legalized too. Until it happens, you can do all your gambling with the trusted online betting sites reviewed by Bookmakers Review.
Make Your Best Bets Online in Maryland
While the retail sportsbooks are going to have apps on your phone any day now in Maryland, there are still a lot of things you will not be allowed to do unless you join an offshore sportsbook like the ones we have reviewed here. By now, you should have an idea of where your personal preference lies but choosing the best one comes down to what you like the most. We recommend checking out all our top online betting sites, but some do specialize in areas better than others:
- If your main interest is sports betting, then sign up for Bookmaker, Bovada, and Heritage Sports.
- If your main interest is poker, then sign up for Bovada, BetOnline, and Everygame.
FAQs – Maryland Online Gambling
Yes, there are various forms of online gambling that are now legal in the state of Maryland. Not every type is considered legal as of 2023, however.
The state is in the process of issuing online sportsbook licenses and mobile sports betting apps will soon roll out statewide; however, offshore sites are still the only way to play casino games online.
At 18 in Maryland, you can visit retail sportsbooks, play the state lottery, and play Daily Fantasy Sports.
If you visit a land-based casino, you need to be 21 in order to enter because they all serve alcohol.
For legal sports betting or casino gaming using an offshore sportsbook or offshore online casino sites, 18 is fine.
You can use any offshore sportsbooks to bet on your favorite teams in the state of Maryland. We highly recommend that you use one of our top picks for the best online gambling sites in Maryland.
You can use any offshore mobile app or mobile-optimized gambling site to engage in responsible gambling in the state of Maryland. Currently, online sports betting isn’t fully rolled out in the state, and online casino gambling is not currently legal, making offshore mobile sports betting apps or offshore sites your best bet while also offering a wide range of gambling activities.
You can bet with Caesars Sportsbook, but currently, the only way to bet with Caesars Sportsbook is to visit the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. Because Caesars Sportsbook is the official retail sports betting partner of this particular casino, this is currently the only way to use this sportsbook in the state until online sports betting is fully implemented in the state under the state’s gambling laws. You can play Daily Fantasy Sports with this sportsbook, but you’re not currently allowed to use it off of the casino’s premises.
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