Despite a rich history in gambling through the lottery and horse racing, Maryland was a late bloomer when it came to casino gambling. But by passing a law to allow slot machines in 2008, Maryland put the wheels in motion to have casinos built throughout the state.
The nation’s progress in casino gambling 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 places any sort of wager outside of a casino in the nation.
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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 authority to issue up to five video lottery permits and set around 15,000 slot machines across 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, gaming rights in Maryland were enlarged even further. One additional casino has been approved to be built along with the five that 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 expansion of those casinos has been a welcome change to the Maryland Code as gambling out of those legal casinos is strictly prohibited. Under Penal Code 12-102,”a person may not bet, bet, or bet” in the state of Maryland. Bettors that are caught and convicted are guilty of a misdemeanor that 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. When most states offer much harsher penalties for bookmaking as opposed to gambling, Maryland’s state laws do not really make particular reference of bookmaking. Rather, anyone who’s partaking in gaming whether they’re gambling or receiving a wager are by the letter of their law committing a misdemeanor.
Online Betting
Offshore sportsbooks don’t fall under the jurisdiction of Maryland’s state legislation as they are not in the nation or the nation. As a result, many still offer you online gambling 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 from the state. While this legislation isn’t a heavily controlled one, citizens of Maryland must understand the risks that have putting bets in the state and choose for themselves whether or not they want to accept those risks. With no other sports betting avenues accessible, online betting is the only viable alternative Maryland sports bettors have.
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 public. Ocean Downs in 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 open 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 over 50 tables. Both places provide cash games and tournaments.
Online Poker
As is true for online sports betting, many internet poker rooms will take company from Maryland residents since they aren’t under the jurisdiction 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 need to weigh the pros and cons of playing online illegally or playing live in the state’s legal casinos. Live games are more limited, but players do not have to worry about being caught either.
Gaming Options in Maryland
Horse racing is alive and well in the state of Maryland with 2 harness race tracks in Ocean Downs and Rosecraft Raceway and three regular race tracks in Laurel Park Racecourse, Maryland State Fairgrounds (as soon as 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 has been created in 1973 and is the fourth largest contributor to the nation’s market. The state offers in-state drawings, multi-state drawings including Powerball and Mega Millions, and scratch ticket games.

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