Despite having a rich history in gambling through the lottery and horse racing, Maryland was a late bloomer in regards to casino gaming. However, by passing a law to allow slot machines 2008, Maryland put the wheels in motion to get casinos constructed 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 beyond a casino in the state.
Best Betting Sites for Maryland
We do not endorse or offer opinions on sports gambling operators in your area.
*Terms and Conditions apply to each of incentive offers on this website. Visit operator for details.
Gaming Laws in Maryland
The Maryland Slot Machines Amendment was on the ballot in Maryland on November 4, 2008. The measure gave the state the ability to issue up to five video lottery licenses and place around 15,000 slot machines across the country in five different locations. If this legislation passed, Maryland became the 38th state to permit live casino gaming or slot machines.
In 2012, gaming rights in Maryland were enlarged even further. One additional casino was approved to be built along with the five which were already approved, and table games were allowed to be introduced within these establishments. While before these casinos only served as slot parlors, they could now function more like regular casinos to add table games and poker rooms.
The legalization and growth of those casinos was a welcome change to the Maryland Code as gambling out of those legal casinos is strictly prohibited. Under Penal Code 12-102,“a individual may not bet, bet, or bet“ from the state of Maryland. Bettors that are caught and convicted are guilty of a misdemeanor that is subject to 6-12 weeks in prison plus a fine of $200 to $1000.
Sports Betting at Maryland
Sports betting is illegal in the state of Maryland. When the majority of states offer you considerably harsher penalties for bookmaking as opposed to betting, Maryland’s state laws don’t really make specific mention of bookmaking. Rather, anyone who’s partaking in gaming whether they are gambling or receiving a bet are from the letter of their law committing a misdemeanor.
Online Betting
Offshore sportsbooks don’t fall under the authority of Maryland’s state laws since they are not from the nation or the country. As a result, many of them still offer you online betting to Maryland residents despite it being illegal in the state.
There are no specific mentions of online gaming 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 from the state. Although this legislation is not a heavily regulated one, residents of Maryland must understand the risks that have putting bets in the state and decide for themselves whether or not they want to accept those risks. With no additional sports betting paths accessible, online gambling is the only viable option Maryland sports bettors have.
Poker and Casino at Maryland
In 2010, the Hollywood Casino in 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 opened 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 biggest poker room in the state by far is your Maryland Live! Poker Room with More than 50 tables. Both locations offer tournaments and cash games.
Online Poker
As is the case with online sports gambling, many online poker rooms will take company from Maryland residents as they are not under the authority of the state of Maryland. Playing online poker is illegal in the state of Maryland under the definition that any bet or wager is, even though poker is not mentioned specifically.
Poker players in Maryland must weigh the pros and cons of playing online illegally or playing live in the nation’s legal casinos. Live games are more limited, but players don’t have to worry about being captured either.
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 in Laurel Park Racecourse, Maryland State Fairgrounds (when the fair is in town) and the Pimlico Race Course. Baltimore’s Pimlico monitor hosts the annual Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Maryland Lottery
The Maryland Lottery was established in 1973 and is the fourth largest contributor to the nation’s economy. The state offers in-state drawings, multi-state drawings including Powerball and Mega Millions, and scratch ticket games.

Read more: