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.
We’ve listed our favorite casinos, sportsbooks and poker sites accepting players from Maryland below. Pick a site and start playing!
Yes, though you’ll have to play at an offshore online bookmaker site. Maryland law enforcement doesn’t charge people who gamble online. 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.
Yes. Gambling online is not regulated and licensed, but bettors are not prosecuted for playing online. Online sports betting is closer to passage than iCasinos or online poker sites. In May 2018, Maryland’s legislature passed a bill that showed the intention to legalize sports betting. 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. Meanwhile, 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.
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.
Our number one pick for an online sportsbook in Maryland is Bovada. New depositors at Bovada receive a $250 welcome bonus. Players can wager on NFL football, NBA basketball, MLB baseball, MLS soccer, and NHL hockey. If you have international tastes, you can wager on the English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, or Champions League. Bovada also offers a full list of live betting odds.
The gambling age of pari-mutual horse betting in Maryland is 18 years or older. Gamblers must be 21 or older to enter a Maryland casino. If you play at an online betting site, you’ll need to be a minimum of 18 years old.
Cafe Casino is our recommendation for Maryland gamblers choosing an online casino. Make a first deposit and you’ll receive either the $5000 Super Play Max Bonus (35x rollover) or the $1000 No-Max Bonus (25x rollover). Slot bettors can try top games like Arabian Tales, Atlantic Treasures, Bess & Becky, or Ares: The Battle for Troy. Cafe Casino offers table games like roulette, baccarat, and blackjack. It also previews new games like Spin The Wheel and Roll The Dice. When you play in the site’s live casino, you can enjoy live baccarat, live blackjack, or live roulette.
Ignition Poker is our recommendation for Maryland online poker players. When a card player makes a deposit at Ignition, they receive their choice of a $1000 welcome bonus or a $1250 Bitcoin bonus. Each week, Ignition Poker offers $1.5 million in guaranteed prize cash, along with weekly $2500 freerolls and $150k guaranteed tournaments.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.