BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel are all expected to be part of the first wave of sportsbook launches in Maryland. You’ll soon be able to register for accounts and get started with these and other sportsbook apps.
Top Maryland sportsbook apps
Let’s talk about those four apps mentioned above. Their inclusion isn’t an accident – those are the cream of the crop for regulated sportsbooks in the United States. Each one has a different slate of features and different reasons why you would play, but you should take a look at all of them.
BetMGM doesn’t just coast on name recognition – it may be the best sportsbook in the country. At the very least, you’ll have more betting options on BetMGM Sports than elsewhere, and you never have to feel trapped in a bad decision if a game starts going south.
Here are some of the highlights:
- App ratings (out of 5 stars): 4.8 (iOS), 4.4 (Android)
- Edit My Bet lets you add legs to existing wagers, change their participants, and add to the amount of your bet.
- Hundreds of in-play wagers are available every single day.
- Every dollar wagered generates points and increases status in MGM Rewards program.
BetMGM’s online sportsbook is a no-brainer to enter Maryland, as it is the natural complement to MGM National Harbor, its sister property in Oxon Hill.
Caesars is the owner of the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, and the sportsbook app is an extension of that business. Caesars is a great site for casual bettors because of its tremendous promotional opportunities.
You can also look at Caesars if you prefer a simpler and closer-to-retail sports betting experience that doesn’t involve the flashiness of some of the other apps.
Here are some of the reasons to bet at Caesars online sportsbook:
- App ratings (out of 5 stars): 4.6 (iOS), 4.5 (Android)
- Promotional offers are quite generous and have, at times, offered deals for more than $1,000 in bonus dollars.
- There is a large contingent of same-game parlay options available each day.
- Your play increases your status level in the Caesars Rewards program and yields escalating slates of goodies for you, both online and at Caesars locations.
DraftKings Sportsbook has thrown off its mantle as a mere DFS provider to become one of the biggest brand names in all of sports betting.
Its iconic color scheme and playful advertising make it the brand for anyone looking for fun and cool with their sports betting. Because of the continuous innovation on the app, it’s rare that any single bettor has the same experience with DK. Here’s why:
- App ratings (out of 5 stars): 4.8 (iOS), 4.6 (Android)
- Sports betting pools are free to play and introduce a tournament-like experience for sports bettors.
- Finding the bets you want is simple because of the betting carousel, a rotating display that yields the betting options most likely to appeal to you.
- The list of sports, along with the betting options within each sport, is incredibly long, and includes several sports that are not typical offerings on American sportsbook apps.
FanDuel Sportsbook has become one of the biggest names in sports betting through a combination of intelligence and customer focus. Instead of attempting to reinvent the wheel, the FanDuel app attempts to perfect the wheel, so to speak.
Its rise from the DFS market has been somewhat startling, but any time spent on the app soon makes it clear why FanDuel is the sportsbook of choice for so many. Download the app to find the following:
- App ratings (out of 5 stars): 4.8 (iOS), 4.7 (Android)
- Navigation on the app is both smoother and speedier than almost any other US sportsbook app.
- FanDuel largely brought the era of same game parlays to life in the US, and it remains the center of the universe for that kind of wager to this day.
- Promotions on FanDuel are generous, varied, and include the rarely-seen option to divide free bet vouchers among multiple bets.
How to sign up at a Maryland online sportsbook
If you’re ready to start betting with one of these sportsbooks, you’ll need five or 10 minutes of your time.
Because the books compete with one another, they make their registration processes remarkably similar. So, the procedure for signing up at an online sportsbook in Maryland is usually like this:
1. Access the site through our link
Find the site you want, and write down any bonus code you see EXACTLY as it appears. It could be worth significant boosts to your new account balance.
If there’s no code, click through the link button anyway. Some sportsbook sign up bonuses don’t have a password and are triggered directly by the link.
2. Register for an account
Find the registration area at the top portion of the main page. If you don’t see an option to register, click the button to log into your account. A link for joining anew should be somewhere there.
After the registration screen appears, enter your personal information into the specified blanks. Except for the bonus code space, all of the blanks are mandatory to fill out. You’ll have to surrender your name, email, home address, phone number, Social Security number, and date of birth.
You will also have to create a username, password, and answers to selected security questions so that you can access your account once again. Because there will be sensitive information stored within your new account, make sure to take steps to protect your user information and passwords.
Enter the bonus code in the blank exactly as you wrote it down. Any typos – even capitalization errors – will invalidate the opportunity for you.
Click the button at the bottom to complete your registration. You may have to verify your account via email, but otherwise, you’ll proceed to the cashier.
3. Make the first deposit
You may be automatically taken to the cashier from registration. If not, look in your new account profile or at the top portion of the main screen to access it.
Once inside your cashier, select one of the deposit methods to fund your account. Sportsbook apps will have multiple ways to put money into their systems, including credit and debit cards, online banking, e-checks, and e-wallets like PayPal.
Please note – it is very important that you examine the deposit AND withdrawal methods that your chosen site has available to make sure that you have something that works. Don’t just assume, either – if you plan to use a credit or debit card, you might want to check with your financial institution first, as many do not allow deposits into gambling sites. You should also look at the site’s withdrawal methods to make sure you have a way to get your money back.
If you discover that your site is not compatible to your financial situation, play out any bonus money you have, and come back to this page. Choose another site immediately, as the headache you are establishing for yourself at your chosen site is not worth the effort.
4. Place a bet
Your deposit should only take a few seconds to process. Head back to the main lobby of the site to begin playing.
- The left side of a sportsbook site is usually reserved for the book’s list of sports with open bet listings that you can use.
- The middle portion displays live betting options for underway games or other bets that the book wants to emphasize and encourage you to take.
- The right side of the display is for the betslip. As you make your selections, your betslip will auto-populate with the various choices.
However, your wager is not finalized until you enter a bet amount in the payslip and submit the bet as your final estimate. You can then keep track of the bet’s process through the betslip. Some books will even offer live streaming so that you can take advantage of any juicy in-play offers that appear.
If you become eligible for the Cash Out option or any other type of alteration, it will appear with your wager in the betslip. Make sure to keep an eye on the slip as long as you have a bet open and waiting for a decision.
How to download any sports betting app
If you choose to use a phone or tablet to access Maryland online sportsbook apps, then the first part of the procedure described above is different.
Instead of clicking through and visiting the site, you should click through our links to access the download page for the corresponding app.
Once you choose the right format for your device (if necessary), you should see a familiar page. It will be the download page for your chosen sportsbook app, and it will look exactly like the other apps you’ve downloaded to your phone.
Download it, install it, and proceed to the second step described above.
Can I bet on college teams in Maryland?
Yes. Although collegiate athletics are often the target of restrictions in sports betting states, Maryland lawmakers have not seen fit to issue any prohibitions relating to them for Maryland sports bettors.
You may bet on any of the major college programs in the state.
What’s the legal age for sports betting in Maryland?
21 and over. Although there are some areas where people as young as 18 may bet on sports (including in nearby Washington, D.C.), Maryland retains the traditional drinking age requirement for placing a sports wager within its set of online and retail sportsbooks.
Do I need to live in Maryland to bet at legal online sportsbooks?
No. You don’t have to live in Maryland to bet through legal online sportsbooks in Maryland. You need only satisfy the age requirement and be physically located inside the state lines to access all the legal online options.
How do sportsbooks know you’re in Maryland?
You may wonder how an online sportsbook would know whether you are inside Maryland. Well, every single app and site is required to maintain geolocation verification software and confirm the location of each bettor before accepting a wager from them.
Geolocation software technology, which third-party providers like GeoComply offer, uses the onboard GPS on your mobile device to pinpoint your location inside Maryland. If you choose to use a laptop or desktop, the site will likely require that you download similar technology to your computer or otherwise grant the site permission to investigate the location of your computer.
Sportsbooks in Maryland don’t have much wiggle room on this point. Wagering on sports across state lines has been illegal in the US since the Kennedy administration, and the books face heavy penalties from Maryland Gaming if they allow anything to get through.
Only betting across state lines is prohibited
As harsh as those restrictions sound, the reality is that the only activity prohibited from occurring across state lines is finalizing your wager. If you would like to establish an account, make a deposit, and even go so far as to choose a wager or group of wagers you want to make on a Maryland sportsbook app, that’s perfectly fine.
The only thing you’ll discover is an inability to finalize your wager within the betslip. If you are planning to take a trip to Maryland later in the day but want plenty of time to consider your wagers, there’s no reason you cannot get your account almost to the finish line.
At that point, all it takes to secure the bet is verifying that you’ve entered Maryland and pressing the button on the betslip. Even if you head back to your point of origin, your bet is live, active, and perfectly legal.
How do I know I can trust a sportsbook?
Before online sports betting launches in Maryland, it’s easy to tell that an online sportsbook offering service to you is not legal. After all, the state isn’t in the habit of allowing stealth launches or special treatment for certain books.
However, you may wonder how to tell if you’re playing on a legitimate app or site once the launch finally occurs. Most sites that aren’t legitimate look pretty slick, and even mainstream media sources struggle with a site’s legality from time to time.
Thankfully, there are some obvious signs and indications that legitimate sites and apps display. So, here’s how to spot the legal online sportsbooks once Maryland regulators give the green light for them to launch:
- Maryland Gaming indicates they are legitimate. Maryland’s gaming regulator is the sole arbiter of which sportsbooks are permitted to operate. It issues licenses and provides oversight for them. So, if you see mention of an app or call Maryland Gaming to confirm a site’s legitimacy, there is no way you’ll be wrong.
- The app mentions Maryland Gaming and/or displays its logo. Legitimate sportsbooks have a vested interest in making sure that their customers know they are legally operating in the state. Those statements both reassure patrons that they are legal and help to screen out illegitimate books, which are competitors to the legal books and plague them with generous offers and bonus deals.
- The app has domestic ties. Real apps almost always maintain their headquarters or an office inside the United States. Even if they are a foreign company with their main offices overseas, there will be at least a satellite location under the jurisdiction of US law. Sites that mention their mailing address is in Aruba, Costa Rica, Panama, or some other country should cause alarms to go off in your head.
- There are no cryptocurrency banking options. Offshore and illegal sportsbooks have taken a big leap into crypto as a banking means. The anonymous nature of pseudo currencies like BitCoin and Ethereum likely appeals to their desire to fly under the radar of regulators and tax collectors. We do not know of any legitimate sportsbooks that are permitted to accept transactions with cryptocurrency offhand, and some states ban them outright. So, it’s a bad sign if you see options for crypto when you deposit or withdraw.
- Discussion of the sportsbook appears at length on Last Word on Sports. Finally, Last Word on Sports only covers legal sports betting in the US, including Maryland. If you read about an app on this page, it is legitimate. We won’t talk about it otherwise – unless we’re briefly mentioning that it isn’t on the level.
What are the major differences between online sportsbooks and retail sportsbooks?
The basic activity underlying sports betting is the same, regardless of whether you play online or in one of Maryland’s retail sportsbooks. The book issues a set of estimates and propositions about that day’s sporting events, and you bet based on your predictions about their outcomes.
However, there are vast differences between betting online or in a retail sportsbook. In many ways, online sports betting is superior to the retail experience, and it’s a good thing that Maryland will soon have online books.
That said, there are still a few reasons why you might choose to bet in person. Here’s a comparison between the two ways to bet on sports, along with our opinion about which format is superior for each element.
- Convenience – The most obvious difference between the two is the disparate level of convenience. It is impossible to deny that online sportsbooks are more convenient to use. They are even more convenient than sitting in a physical sportsbook, as you don’t have to wait in line for the teller or kiosk. BIG EDGE: ONLINE
- Types of wagers – Both formats have the typical pregame wagers available. Point spreads, moneylines, totals, futures, propositions, and parlays are standard fare. However, online sportsbooks have a major advantage once the contest begins. In-game wagering can add hundreds of betting options for each game. Some apps, like PointsBet, also offer unique wager styles. BIG EDGE: ONLINE
- Available sports – It is unlikely that there will be many sports that cannot be found in either format. The exact lineup may vary, but generally, any pro sporting event worldwide will offer wagering options in both online and live settings. The only possible exception is that you have multiple online books available at once, but may only have a single retail book’s options on the board. SLIGHT EDGE: ONLINE
- Experience for beginning bettors – Placing a sports bet is a daunting experience for first-time and early-stage bettors. All the different numbers and listings can be overwhelming. In this case, the greater speeds found online are a detriment, rather than a benefit. In-person betting also allows for asking other people, like the tellers and other bettors, for help. EDGE: RETAIL
- Experience for veteran bettors – Bettors who understand what they are doing are in a superior position to take advantage of faster online speeds. Furthermore, an experienced bettor knows how best to shop for odds and leverage the opportunities presented by having multiple sportsbook apps at one’s fingers. EDGE: ONLINE
- Minimum bet limit – There’s no question that you can bet more cheaply online than in a retail sportsbook. Like all retail operations, the overhead associated with an in-person book means that there may not be as much flexibility regarding the value of each transaction. Since no one has to host a bet or man a station on a sportsbook app, it can afford to pass the savings along to its customers. EDGE: ONLINE
- Maximum bet limit – On the other hand, an online book might be more rigid or stingy about enforcing its betting limits than a live book. A high roller whale with a good relationship with the staff at a retail book might be better able to book the action that he or she wants to take because the staff knows that the whale is good for the money. Quite simply, the bots in charge of an online book don’t care who you are. EDGE: RETAIL
- Bonus opportunities – This one is pretty easy. There are so many more opportunities for extra money online than there are live. Aside from an occasional one-off deal, the only consistent promotions in retail sportsbooks are for the casino’s loyalty program. Online books have to keep you happy to keep you from clicking over to the competition. BIG EDGE: ONLINE
- Sensory experience – The visceral experience of playing in a retail sportsbook is probably its biggest selling point over online play. There is no comparison about the feast prepared for your eyes and ears in a big sportsbook, what with the giant television walls, the colorful bet listings, and the buzz of other bettors making their wagers. An online book is just an app. BIG EDGE: RETAIL
- Additional features or perks – Online apps can offer you many different twists and opportunities that you cannot find in live settings. The most notable of these additional elements is the Cash Out option. This now-ubiquitous feature sometimes lets you close out open bets before their subject games are over. On the other hand, a retail sportsbook usually has a bar or restaurant attached, so you can get hydrated, fed, and pampered in a way that an app simply doesn’t match. SLIGHT EDGE: RETAIL