Gambling options continue to expand in Maryland. State lawmakers in May 2021 approved online and retail sports betting, with betting apps live November 2022.
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission oversees and regulates casino gambling in the state. The commission has seven members, each appointed by the governor and approved by the State Senate.
The state agency is responsible for licensing and ensuring that all Maryland online casino sites and bookmakers adhere to state gambling laws and regulations. It also provides monthly revenue reports and oversees a division dedicated to responsible online gambling in Maryland.
Sweepstakes or social casinos such as Chumba Casinos and Luckyland Slots are legal, popular and available. Sweepstakes casinos offer many of the slots and table games you would find at retail or online casinos, but with no real money changing hands. Instead, players use virtual currencies to win contests and prizes. The games are available on Sweepstakes casino websites, Facebook and other apps. Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland offers its own social casino. Gambling.com provides ratings and recommendations for the top sweepstakes casinos.
At least four gambling companies that already have a presence in Maryland would be expected to move forward with online casinos if and when online casino gambling is legalized in the state.
Penn National Gaming: The parent company of Penn Interactive operates online casino operations in several states and is purchasing Hollywood Casino Perryville. Penn National Gaming also has a significant equity stake and partnership with Barstool, which offers an online casino app.
BetMGM: The online gambling arm of MGM Resorts International is expanding aggressively across the U.S. with sites in nearly a dozen markets. BetMGM Casino already has a significant presence in Maryland with MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, near Washington D.C. The brand will most likely launch BetMGM Sportsbook Maryland for online sports betting once the state regulates it.
Caesars: Iconic gambling name is the owner of Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. Caesars Online Casino and Sportsbook is available in nearby New Jersey and Pennsylvania and offers some form of mobile betting in at least 13 states after the recent purchase of global gambling operator William Hill. With new states regulating the gaming sector, Caesars should soon be expanding to new regions and is expected in Maryland too with Caesars sportsbook Maryland.
Promo codes provide a way for online casinos to allow players to receive bonus offers. These bonuses come in a variety of forms, such as a sign-up welcome bonus, a deposit match or a specific number of free slot spins.
If Maryland online casinos are legalized, promo codes to claim bonus offers are likely to be widely available. Some online casinos will provide you with the code to type in and claim your bonus. Others may fill in the code automatically, while others may not even require a code to claim your bonus.
Online casinos use bonus offers as a way to incentivize new account holders. Some of the casino bonuses are small, others can be quite lucrative. Most include some form of wagering requirement that must be met before the bonus money can be redeemed in full.
Gambling.com only recommends Maryland online gambling sites that are legal and regulated. For Maryland casinos, that means venues that are licensed and under the jurisdiction of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.
Among the reasons offshore-based online casinos should be avoided:
The Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling was formed in 2010 to provide resources and support for Maryland residents who may have a gambling program. The Alliance consists of several separate groups, including the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency and at least one member representing the state’s casinos.
The state operates a voluntary exclusion program in which Maryland players can choose to ban themselves from the state's casinos or the Maryland lottery for a period of two years or longer.
The state’s approved gambling assistance message must be displayed at each customer entrance to the gaming floor of all Maryland casinos. By statute, gaming license revenue must help defray operational costs for the state’s problem gambling hotline. An annual fee for each video lottery terminal and every table game operated by the state’s casinos is required to be allocated to aid problem gambling in the state.
While not yet legal, it seems likely that online casino gambling will eventually become Maryland law. The state allows several other forms of online gambling, including betting on sporting events, which was approved by voters and subsequently signed into law in 2021. While online betting is clearly more mainstream, online casino gambling continues to gain acceptance from both voters and state lawmakers, especially in the Mid-Atlantic region.
It may be just a matter of time before Maryland joins its neighbors. But meanwhile, here's where online casino gambling is available:
Yes. Several forms of online gambling — including online sports betting, horse racing wagering and daily fantasy sports — are all legal in the state. Betting apps have gone live in November 2022. Maryland online casinos, however, are still not legal. You are able to visit retail casinos and bet in person at a number of Maryland locations.
The following types of gambling are legal in Maryland: In-person casino gambling and poker, online and retail sports betting, online and retail pari-mutuel wagering, daily fantasy sports contests and lottery. Charitable gambling (bingo, raffles, etc.) is legal in most Maryland counties.
The minimum legal gambling age in Maryland is 21 and over for online casino gambling and online sports betting; then it is 18 years and over for lottery and online lotto games, pari-mutuel wagering and charitable gaming.
Online casino gambling is not legal in Maryland. You may receive offers from sweepstakes or social casinos, like Hard Rock Social Casino, which are legal and safe, with games played for free, for entertainment purposes, not real money. Any solicitation from an offshore-based online casino has operations violating state and federal laws - it's not recommended nor safe.
Online poker sites are not legal in Maryland. Poker rooms are available in most of the state’s commercial casinos. Maryland residents who want to play online poker can do so for free at sweepstakes or social sites such as Global Poker and Chumba Casino.
If and when online casinos are legalized in Maryland, limit your search to casino sites that are licensed and regulated. Then check out several different sites and choose the one(s) that offer the games you want, offer the best mobile experience, and provide you with the highest comfort level.
The state has seven land-based casinos. They are Hollywood Casino Perryville; Horseshoe Casino Baltimore; Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover; MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill; M & T Stadium in Baltimore, Riverboat on the Potomac, Ocean Downs in Berlin; and Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Flintstone. All open 24 hours except Ocean Downs, operating daily from 8 a.m.-2 a.m.
No. The Interstate Wire Act of 1961 prohibits certain types of wagering from other states. Through the years, there have been various interpretations and rulings of the Wire Act and whether it applies to all online gambling forms. You may find this available for online poker in other states. Currently no such allowances are made for online gambling in Maryland.
"Chet Fussman is a freelance writer for Gambling.com. Fussman is a former horse racing writer and longtime sports editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. He's a poker and blackjack player and frequent sports bettor, who plans to send the U.S. Supreme Court a thank-you card for clearing the way for states to adopt sports wagering. Fussman's philosophy: Don't let the bad beats overshadow your winning ones."