Despite a rich history in gaming through the lottery and horse racing, Maryland was a late bloomer in regards to casino gaming. But by passing a law to allow slot machines 2008, Maryland put the wheels in motion to have casinos built throughout the state.
The state’s progress in casino gaming is promising, however from an online perspective Maryland is not a great location for sports bettors to reside. While infrequently enforced, Maryland’s laws call for harsh penalties against anyone who puts any sort of wager outside of a casino in the state.
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Gambling Laws in Maryland
The Maryland Slot Machines Amendment was on the ballot at Maryland on November 4, 2008. The step gave the state the ability to issue up to five video lottery permits and set around 15,000 slot machines throughout the country at five different locations. If this law passed, Maryland became the 38th state to permit live casino gaming or slot machines.
In 2012, gambling rights in Maryland were expanded even further. One extra casino was approved to be constructed along with the five which were already approvedtable games were permitted to be introduced within these establishments. While prior to these casinos only served as slot parlors, they could now work more like standard casinos to add table games and poker rooms.
The legalization and growth of these casinos was a welcome change to the Maryland Code as betting outside of these legal casinos is strictly prohibited. Under Penal Code 12-102,»a person may not bet, bet, or gamble» in the state of Maryland. Bettors which are captured and convicted are guilty of a misdemeanor which is subject to 6-12 weeks in prison and a fine of $200 to $1000.
Sports Betting at Maryland
Sports gambling is illegal in the state of Maryland. While most states offer much harsher penalties for bookmaking as opposed to gambling, Maryland’s state laws don’t actually make particular mention of bookmaking. Rather, anyone who’s partaking in gambling whether they’re betting or receiving a bet are from the letter of their law committing a misdemeanor.
Online Betting
Offshore sportsbooks don’t fall under the jurisdiction of Maryland’s state laws as they are not from the state or the nation. As a result, many still offer you online betting to Maryland residents despite being illegal in the state.
There are no specific mentions of online gambling anywhere in the Maryland Code, but it would be hard to argue against its illegality when all types of»betting, wagering, and gambling» are deemed illegal and punishable by misdemeanor by the state. While this legislation is not a heavily controlled one, residents of Maryland must understand the risks that have putting bets in the nation and choose for themselves whether they want to take those risks. With no additional sports betting avenues available, online gambling is the only workable option Maryland sports bettors possess.
Poker and Casino in Maryland
In 2010, the Hollywood Casino at Perryville opened, becoming the first casino in Maryland to open its doors to the general public. Ocean Downs at Berlin followed in 2011, the Rocky Gap Casino Resort and the Maryland Live! Casino started in 2013 and the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore opened in 2014. In 2016, the MGM National Harbor will start in Prince George’s County.
The Horseshoe Baltimore has a World Series of Poker themed poker area, but the largest poker room in the country by far is the Maryland Live! Poker Room with More than 50 tables. Both places provide cash games and tournaments.
Online Poker
As is the case with online sports betting, several internet poker rooms will accept business from Maryland residents since they aren’t under the authority of the state of Maryland. Playing online poker is illegal in the state of Maryland under the definition that any wager or bet is, even though poker isn’t mentioned specifically.
Poker players in Maryland need to weigh the pros and cons of playing online illegally or playing live in the nation’s legal casinos. Live games are somewhat more restricted, but players do not have to worry about being caught .
Other Gaming Options in Maryland
Horse racing is alive and well in the state of Maryland with two harness race tracks in Ocean Downs and Rosecraft Raceway and three regular race paths at Laurel Park Racecourse, Maryland State Fairgrounds (when the fair is in town) and the Pimlico Race Course. Baltimore’s Pimlico track hosts the Yearly Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Maryland Lottery
The Maryland Lottery was created in 1973 and is the fourth largest contributor to the state’s economy. The state offers in-state drawings, multi-state drawings including Powerball and Mega Millions, and scratch ticket games.

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