Maryland may not offer up all of the same legal gambling options as the more progressive states of the region, but the servings that MD does have work over-time and never seem to get any rest. Because in MD, casinos operate around the clock unless otherwise noted. This gives players of the Old Line State plenty of opportunity to hit everything from the tables to the slots whenever they please.
Maryland Legal Gambling History
In 1791 the state of Maryland legalized church, or “good-cause” lotteries, which became quite popular and functioned all over the state. This form of legal gambling had brought much corruption and led the state to launch efforts to outlaw good-cause lotteries in the mid-1800s, eventually banning them altogether.
Maryland rejoices in its horse racing past-time. At one point, the state was home to 6 race tracks including the still operational Pimelio, home to the Preakness race that is part of the Triple Crown. In 1979, Maryland began a state lottery.
In 2008, the state of Maryland introduced a referendum which would allow voters to have their say on table gaming. The legislation passed and led to the doors of the first casino opening in MD in 2010, with 4 others following shortly after that. Today the 5 casinos remain as well as one race track casino, Oceandowns.
In 2016 Governor Larry Hogan signed over HB 127, which allows for the legalization of home poker games. With such a lenient stance on poker shown by MD politicians, it gives us an optimistic outlook for the future of poker making its way online.
Sports betting in the state has support, with the majority of voters favoring it. Governor Hogan also supports a sports betting bill. Before any real action takes place, the structuring of existing laws would have to be worked out. There is no reason to believe that legal sports betting will not be in the state sometime soon.
Maryland has enacted laws in the past towards the legalization of Daily Fantasy Sports, while still not made legal. It was seen on the ballot in 2018, where voters failed to lend their support.
Maryland Gambling Legal Status
Charitable gaming such as bingo is allowed and raffles are held twice yearly. As it stands, online gambling is restricted in MD and we have yet to see any bill to remedy this.
Horse betting is legal in the state of Maryland, as long as the betting takes place at the track. Off-track betting remains illegal.
All forms of gambling in the state of Maryland, including lottery and race betting, are 21 and older to play.
Maryland Legal Land-Based Casinos
Maryland currently houses 5 casinos and one racetrack casino.
- Rocky Gap Casino Resort
- Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
- Hollywood Casino Perryville
- Live! Casino and Hotel
- MGM National Harbor
Maryland Legal Gambling FAQ’s
What forms of gambling are allowed in Maryland?
The following forms of gambling are legal within the state:
- Land-based casino gaming.
- Home-based poker games.
- State lottery.
- Racetrack betting.
- Charitable gaming such as bingo and raffles.
Will online casino gaming and sports betting be available in Maryland anytime soon?
It is likely, but no one knows for sure when. Both online gambling and sports betting have support in the state. Sports betting, in particular, has open support from the Governor. Maybe they will take after their neighbors Pennsylvania and provide the people what they want.