For sports fans in Maryland, it was lifelong dream to legally wager on sports from the comforts of home. That dream became a reality on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022 – the day before Thanksgiving.

At 9 AM Eastern Time, Maryland online sports betting went live. Seven of the top sports betting operators in the country were ready to accept wagers on their apps. The list of approved Maryland online sportsbooks for Day 1 was Caesars, BetMGM, PointsBet, DraftKings, BetRivers, FanDuel and Barstool.

The week began with a test launch on Monday, November 21st. That involved the seven ready-to-go online sportsbooks temporarily going live for several hours. There was then no activity on November 22nd. The test run must have been a success because on Wednesday morning it was all action.

Legal Maryland Sports Betting

In November 2020, Maryland voters said yes to a sports betting referendum. It has taken the Maryland state legislature and the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency two years to get all of the regulations in place. The green light was then given for licensed sports betting operators to start taking wagers.

Just in time for an exciting Thanksgiving week of major sports events.

The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission has allowed for more licenses to add to the initial seven. In the meantimes, the big names like DraftKings, Caesars Sportsbook, and BetMGM will be hoping to grab as much market share as possible.

According to Matt Kalish, co-founder, and President of DraftKings North America, his team in Maryland was ready to go for some time. In a press release, he told reporters: “With an active sports season currently underway, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to launch our top-rated sportsbook app in Maryland. Our product delivers fans an exciting sports betting experience.”

More MD Sportsbooks Coming

In a recent report, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency announced that they had received word that three of the licensed operators would not be ready to go Thanksgiving. That includes the partners of Maryland Stadium Sub LLC and FedExField.

But the trio of Betfred, BetParx and Fanatics will more than likely be live by December.

Ultimately the legislation allows for up to 60 licenses in Maryland. Suffice to say, there will be no shortage of choice for sports bettors.

Marland Sportsbook Welcome Bonuses

With so many mobile sports betting operators available in Maryland, the competition for new customers should be fierce. As a means of competing for new business, several licensed operators had already posted pre-launch welcome bonus offers. They included:

DraftKings: Offered $200 in free bets prior to launch and another up to $1,050 in risk-free bets after the launch date. Pre-launch customers will also received entry into a random drawing for five (5) free bets on launch day. Each of the free bets were for a whopping value of $100,000.

BetMGM: Offered $200 in free bets prior to launch to be used on launch day.

FanDuel: Offered $100 in free bets prior to launch and a three (3) month subscription to NBA Free Pass, paid by FanDuel.

PointsBet: Pre-launch customers were eligible for five risk-free $100 bets, plus another $200 in free bets to be allocated at a rate of $50 a week, starting on launch day.

Some of the pre-launch offers continued through the first week, some have been replaced by new offers. Check your sportsbook app from the list here for the latest bonus news.