Over a year of delays and deliberations has come and gone since the Old Line State authorized the operation of domestic sportsbooks. At last, Maryland sports betting is set to go live. And it could be as soon as this week!
MD Betting To Launch Friday
On Friday the 10th, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore and Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland plan to unveil their respective sports betting lounges to the public.
However, the Friday launch is tentative on the success of the casinos’ controlled demonstrations. These will occur over the course of two days this week. Still, all is expected to go to plan.
“Controlled demonstrations are an important final step before sports wagering opens to the public… They serve as a dress rehearsal for the facilities and their staffs, and they allow Maryland Lottery and Gaming to assure the public that these operations are ready to go.”Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin
While Horseshoe and Maryland Live! will be the first available sportsbook options in Maryland, three more locations will launch in the coming weeks.
- Hollywood Casino in Perryville
- MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill
- Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin
But these 5 casinos won’t be the only options for bettors. Maryland’s 2020 voter referendum authorized the launch of up to 17 sportsbook operators in the state. The next round of sportsbook licensing will prioritize women and minority-owned businesses.
Criticisms From Across the Board
Friday’s openings are a huge step for MD. The state’s gaming commission drew an onslaught of harsh criticisms as a result of its less-than-speedy proceedings. Some of the comments came from esteemed lawmakers and officials.
“The goal was to get it done before playoff season where they will make a heck of a lot of money for the state of Maryland, but I don’t know exactly why the commission couldn’t get its work done, but I think you should be able to place a bet today,”Maryland Governor Larry Hogan
Despite his criticisms, the Governor will be the first to place a legal bet in the state during the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Maryland Live! The ceremony will also serve as a grand opening for the casino’s newly-renovated sports betting lounge.
Maryland bettors will be able to place in-person bets as soon as options become available this week. However, online and mobile sportsbooks won’t be accessible for several months to come.
The Economics of MD Sports Betting
All bets placed at Maryland casinos will be subject to a $5 million wager cap. Additionally, winnings earned by in-state players will have 8.5% withheld. Out-of-state players can expect to see 7.5% withheld from their winnings.
Still, bettors should remember that larger winnings are still subject to federal taxes at the end of the year. If you’re new to the domestic game and want to bet big, you should consider a consultation with an accountant.
For casual or professional bettors who would rather hold on to their winnings for tax purposes, offshore online sportsbooks are the way to go. Without local taxes, players can withdraw their winnings in full.
Such earnings can be withdrawn in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, allowing bettors to hold and grow their winnings. When bettors pull out their crypto, all they have to worry about is federal taxes. But these rates fall dramatically after holding for more than a year.
Even so, offshore betting can’t provide the ambiance of an in-person casino. The choice between retail and offshore largely comes down to preference and priority.
Source: The Baltimore Sun