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Maryland Online Gambling

Maryland gambling laws are strict in defining what constitutes betting and what a gambling device is. Maryland’s legislature also sets down punitive laws when it comes to illegal gambling. Though Maryland law enforcement does not make it a habit to prosecute residents who gamble illegally, its statutes allow for such prosecution. Players need to keep that in mind when playing online in Maryland.

That being said, Maryland allows several forms of gambling: land-based casinos, racebook betting, charitable bingo, raffles, poker nights, and daily fantasy sports. While sports betting is not currently legal, the Maryland Senate and General Assembly each passed a 2017 bill which stated they would legalize sports betting if federal laws ever were repealed. That is the case, so Maryland sports bettors can expect new laws in 2019 or 2020. The same cannot be said for online poker, though.

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Laws That Pertain to Maryland Gambling

Relevant state code: 27-240; BR 11-101 et seq., BR §10-502

Maryland has some of the strictest laws against gambling in the United States. Its anti-gambling laws are very strict, especially on the enforcement side of the equation. Those caught gambling illegally are subject to a $100 fine and 6 months in prison.

Maryland gambling legislation approaches the subject entirely differently than most US states. Instead of providing a definition of gambling, Maryland gambling laws instead prohibit all forms of gambling in one broad swipe. Here’s the key parts of the law.

Section 12-102

(a) Prohibited. – A person may not:

(1) bet, wager, or gamble;

Maryland has standard laws when it comes to prohibitions of gaming, but its enforcement is more robust than many US states. For operators, any step along the financial chain can be prosecuted. This includes payment processors, which is why unregulated gaming operators use international offshore payment processors only.

Also, Maryland has an expansive definition of gaming devices. Section 12-103 of Maryland’s gambling laws states it’s illegal to use “any gaming device” for the sake of gambling “money or any other thing or consideration of value.” The section below is the key part of the statute as it defines a gambling device.

Section 12-101(d)

(1) “Gaming device” means:

(i) a gaming table, except a billiard table, at which a game of chance is played for money or any other thing or consideration of value; or

(ii) a game or device at which money or any other thing or consideration of value is bet, wagered, or gambled.

Pretty much anything but a billiard table is a gaming device. That potentially could mean desktop computers, smartphones, and tablet computers. Despite the strict laws, Maryland law enforcement officials have not prosecuted players in the past.

Is Gambling Legal in the State of Maryland?

Maryland Gambling Laws

Type of Gambling – Offered/Licensed? – Notes & Restrictions

 

  • Online Gambling – No – No online poker bills to date.
  • Land-Based Casinos – Yes – 3 land-based casinos and a racino.
  • Charitable Gaming – Yes – Bingo. A few bingo halls.
  • Lottery Betting – Yes – State Lottery (1973), Mega Millions (1996), Powerball (2010).
  • Minimum Gambling Age – 21 for all forms of gambling.

Is Online Poker Legal in Maryland?

Online poker has not been legalized and regulated in Maryland. Online poker and online casinos exist in a gray area. While players cannot play at licensed and regulated online cardrooms and casinos, Maryland authorities do not prosecute players for infractions. Unlicensed online and mobile operators with servers in the state might be prosecuted, but unlicensed Internet poker sites of note exist offshore in the Caribbean, Central America, and other locations.

In 2016, Gov. Larry Hogan signed HB 127, a bill which allows home poker games. The poker game bill is a that sign the state’s lawmakers see poker as a more acceptable form of gambling these days, so it gives hope to proponents of online poker for the future.

Is Sports Betting / Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Maryland?

Maryland has not passed a comprehensive set of sports betting regulations, but its legislature signed a bill in 2017 which states its intention to legalize sportsbooks. In February 2017, Gov. Hogan signed H 989, which said Maryland plans to legalize sports betting if the US Supreme Court ever strikes down the 46-state federal ban. That happened in May 2018, so it’s only a matter of time before Maryland’s legislature follows through on the original bill. Larry Hogan won reelection as Maryland’s governor in November 2018, so it appears that the right leaders are in place to legalized sports betting in Maryland.

Sports betting is a little more complicated. State Senator Douglas J. J. Peters introduced S 976 in 2016, which has passed a vote in the Ways and Means Committee. Delegate Eric G. Luedtke (House) introduced H 930, which would regulate daily fantasy sports and transfers DFS oversight from the State Comptroller to the Director of the Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

On the other hand, State Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. introduced S 980 in January 2017 to ban daily fantasy sports. Called the “Traditional Noncommercial Fantasy Competitions” bill, S980 seeks to ban DraftKings, FanDuel, and similar companies from the state. At present, none of the three bills have received vote on the floor of their respective houses.

Does Maryland have land-based casinos?

Yes, Maryland has 5 brick-and-mortar casinos and 1 racino. Big, famous casinos like the MGM National Harbor, Horseshoe Baltimore, and Maryland Live! Casino are among the biggest gambling destinations on the eastern seaboard. MGM Resorts (National Harbor) and Caesars Entertainment (Horseshoe) own the first two casinos, while the local Cordish Cos. owns Maryland Live!. Readers in Philadelphia may have heard of Cordish, which is involved in the Stadium Casino Project.

CASINOS

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Baltimore Horseshoe Casino – Baltimore 1525 Russell Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230-2058 (844) 777-7463 2,200 Gaming Machines, 25 Poker Tables, 153 Gaming Tables
Flintstone Rocky Gap Casino Resort 16701 Lakeview Road Northeast, Flintstone, Maryland 21530-1059 (301) 784-8400 600 Gaming Machines, 10 Poker and Gaming Machines
Hanover Live! Casino & Hotel 7000 Arundel Mills Circle, Hanover, Maryland 21076-1282 (855) 563-5483 4,000 Gaming Machines, 52 Poker Tables and 137 Gaming Machines
Oxon Hill MGM National Harbor 101 MGM National Avenue, Oxon Hill, Maryland 20745-4731 (301) 749-7500 3,086 Gaming Machines, 46 Poker Tables and 124 Gaming Tables
Perryville Hollywood Casino – Perryville 1201 Chesapeake Overlook Parkway, Perryville, Maryland 21903-2224 (410) 378-8500 850 Gaming Machines, 10 Poker and Gaming Machines

RACE TRACK RACINO

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Berlin Ocean Downs Casino and Racetrack 10218 Racetrack Road, Berlin, Maryland 21811-3210 (410) 641-0600 900 Gaming Machines, 10 Poker and Gaming Tables, Race Book

Does Maryland have any legal betting tracks / shops?

Yes, Maryland has one of the most famous horse tracks in the United States: Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Pimlico is home to the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown races which dominate coverage of the thoroughbred racing season each year in the United States. Betting on the Preakness is allowed at the course, along with 5 other courses around the state.

Does Maryland allow off-track betting?

Maryland does not have off-track betting facilities in the state. Maryland is smaller and ringed-in by other states which do have off-track betting, so the legislature prefers bettors drive to the six racetracks and racinos to do their racebook betting.

HORSE TRACKS

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Baltimore Pimlico Race Course 5201 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21215-5177 (410) 542-9400 Race Book
Elkton Fair Hill Fairgrounds 4640 Telegraph Road, Elkton, Maryland 21921-2651 (410) 392-3440 N/A
Fort Washington Rosecraft Raceway 6336 Rosecraft Drive, Fort Washington, Maryland, 20744-1921 (301) 567-4500 Race Book
Laurel Laurel Park 3600 Fort Meade, Laurel Maryland 20724-2934 (301) 725-0400 Race Book
Lutherville-Timonium Maryland State Fair and Timonium Fairgrounds 2200 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland 21093-3175 (410) 252-0200 Race Book

Does Maryland allow charitable gambling?

Maryland has charitable gambling, but it is regulated at the county level of government. Twenty-one different Maryland counties allow charitable gambling. Baltimore, Boring, Mechanicsville, Owings, and Solomons each have charitable bingo halls, but bingo is not the most popular form of gambling for nonprofits.

Raffles, card games, and casino nights are major players in Maryland charitable gambling. Poker nights are restricted to card games, wheel of chance-style games, and roulette.

BINGO HALLS

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Baltimore Bingo World 4901 Belle Grove Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21225-2904 (410) 636-0311 800 Bingo Seats
Boring The Mason Dixon Bingo Hall 14711 Old Hanover Road, Boring, Maryland 21020 (410) 429-4622 300 Bingo Seats
Mechanicsville ADF Bingo 29062 Three Notch Road, Mechanicsville, Maryland 20659-3205 (301) 884-8889 500 Bingo Seats
Owings Optimists Club Bingo 1920 Norfolk Drive, Owings, Maryland 20736-9150 (410) 257-0832 100 Bingo Seats
Solomons Island Bingo 14120 Solomons Island Road South, Solomons, Maryland 20688 (410) 326-9090 50 Bingo Seats

Is Social gaming allowed in Maryland?

Social gaming is allowed in Maryland. In fact, some of the land-based casinos have their own social gaming presence on the Internet. Live! Social Casino is tied to Maryland Live! Casino, is the foremost Maryland social gaming site online. Players must be 21 to play at Live! Social Casino, but otherwise have a full slate of games to play: slots, table games, tournaments, the Loyalty Lounge player rewards program, and even a VIP lounge.

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