Gambling options continue to expand in Maryland.
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Maryland gambling law allows for online wagering on sports betting, pari-mutuel horse racing betting and daily fantasy sports. Sports wagering legislation was signed into law in May 2021, with retail sports betting likely to begin first, during the fall of 2021. Online sports wagering will take longer to implement and is expected to launch in 2022.
The state also offers a Maryland Lottery App, which allows players to purchase and renew electronic subscriptions, scan tickets and set jackpot alerts.
Online casino gambling is not legal in Maryland, which applies to slots, table games and poker sites. At the moment, there is no immediate timetable to move forward with online casino legislation, as state lawmakers are focusing instead on implementing online and retail sports betting.
At some point, Maryland lawmakers may consider adding online casinos to the state’s growing mix of gambling options. Neighboring New Jersey generates more revenue from online casino gambling than any state in the U.S., and Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia also offer legal online casinos. After MD sports betting settles in, casinos could be the next form of online gambling.
For now, Maryland online casino players can play slots, table games and poker for free at a variety of sweepstakes casinos.
House Bill 940 is approved by the Maryland Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Larry Hogan. The bill allows for online and retail sports betting at the state’s six casinos, pro sports stadiums, horse racing tracks and other locations.
Lawmakers pass bill providing for statewide voter referendum for online and retail sports betting. Voters subsequently approve the referendum by a more than 2-to-1 margin.
The U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Professional Sports and Amateur Protection Act, allowing all states the option to legalize single-game sports wagering.
MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill is the sixth and most recent Maryland casino to open.
Maryland becomes one of the first states in the U.S. to legalize paid-entry daily fantasy sports betting.
State voters approve Las Vegas-style casino games in a constitutional referendum. Hollywood Casino Perryville is the first casino to open in 2010.
Maryland Lottery begins operations, one year after voters approve a statewide constitutional amendment.
Maryland lawmakers pass legislation phasing out slot machines, which were legalized 20 years earlier in Anne Arundel County and later in the decade by four other counties.
Pimlico Race Course opens, the second-oldest horse track in the nation. Three years later, the Baltimore track begins hosting the Preakness, the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
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 sportsbooks 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 Sports, which offers an online casino app.
BetMGM: The online gambling arm of MGM Resorts International is expanding aggressively across the U.S. with online casinos and/or sports betting 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.
Caesars: Iconic gambling name is the owner of Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. Caesars Online Casino and sportsbook is available is nearby New Jersey and Pennsylvania and offers some form of mobile betting in at least 13 states after recent purchase of global gambling operator William Hill.
TwinSpires: The official online wagering site of Churchill Downs Inc. and the Kentucky Derby is a full-service online wagering company and the owner of Ocean Downs, a casino and harness racing track near Ocean City.
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.
Maryland is home to six casinos located across the state, all of which opened between 2010 and 2016. Each is permitted to offer Las Vegas-style gaming, including slots, table games, electronic games and poker.
|Name||Address||Type||Owner/Operator||Live Table Games?|
|Hollywood Casino Perryville||1201 Chesapeake Overlook Parkway, Perryville||Casino||Penn National Gaming||Yes|
|Horseshoe Casino Baltimore||11525 Russell Street, Baltimore||Casino||Caesars Entertainment||Yes|
|Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland||7002 Arundel Mills, Circle 777, Hanover||Casino||The Cordish Companies||Yes|
|MGM National Harbor||101 MGM National Avenue, Oxon Hill||Casino||MGM Resorts International||Yes|
|Ocean Downs||10218 Racetrack Road, Berlin||Racino||Churchill Downs Inc.||Yes|
|Rocky Gap Casino Resort||16701 Lakeview Road NE, Flintstone||Casino||Golden Entertainment||Yes|
Deposit methods at Maryland gambling sites will vary based on the operator, but you can expect to find the following gambling payment options at the vast majority of them: e-wallets such as PayPal and Neteller; Play+ (often branded by the operator); online banking; debit and credit cards; PayNearMe (with a voucher at 7-Eleven, Family Dollar Store and CVS); and cash at an affiliated brick-and-mortar casino.
In general, operators will require you to withdraw your funds using the same methods you used to deposit them, if possible. Typically, you’ll have access to fewer withdrawal options than deposit methods, since you typically can’t withdraw funds back onto a credit card. Withdrawal methods often include PayPal, Play+ casino payments, online banking, mailed paper checks and cash at an affiliated casino/sportsbook cage.
Withdrawal times can range from 24–72 hours, based on the method used and the operator. E-wallets and Play+ tend to release funds the quickest of any method, but again, check with each specific operator.
Hollywood Casino Perryville: The state’s first casino to open in 2010 is located about 40 miles north of Baltimore. More than 800 reel and video slots, table games, live poker, off-track betting. In May 2021, final regulatory approval to acquire the property was officially granted to Penn National Gaming, which initially developed the property.
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore: Two-story casino has more than 2,200 slots (including $500 machines in high-limit area), 150 video poker machines, more than 150 table games, 22-table World Series of Poker room, off-track betting. Located less than one mile from Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium.
Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland: Largest casino floor in Maryland includes about 4,000 slot machines, more than 200 table games, poker, electronic table games. Centrally located about 15 miles from Baltimore and 25 miles from Washington D.C. Live! Casino Maryland had a 36 percent share of the state’s casino market during the first quarter of 2021, the second-highest in the state.
MGM National Harbor: Opened on Dec. 8, 2016, the last of the state’s six casinos to open. Offers nearly 3,000 slots, table games, hybrid electronic games (which allow you to play craps, roulette and casino war at the same time), poker, off-track betting, The state’s closest casino to Washington D.C. (11 miles) is the leading revenue-producing casino in Maryland, with a 39 percent market share.
Ocean Downs: Combination casino and harness track, which offers year-round simulcast racing and a live racing schedule during the summer months. Casino includes more than 800 slot machines, table games, video poker. Located in Berlin, about six miles west of coastal resort town Ocean City.
Rocky Gap Casino Resort: Located in Western Maryland-based Rocky Gap State Park, an expansive public recreation area. Casino is less than 15 miles from the West Virginia and Pennsylvania borders. The casino features 665 slot machines, 17 table games and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.
Of the six casinos, Hollywood Casino Perryville, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, MGM National Harbor and Ocean Downs would be the most likely to launch Maryland online casino sites — the owners of each actively manage online casino operations in other states.
Maryland is a progressive gambling state with online casino gaming one of the few gambling options that is not legally permitted. The state is home to six commercial casinos and several horse racing tracks. Sports betting was recently legalized with in-person wagering expected to begin during the fall of 2021, followed by online sports betting (with as many as 60 potential licensed operators) the following year.
A look at which gambling options are legal in Maryland:
|Type of Gambling||Allowed?||Date Legalized|
|Land-Based Sports Betting||Yes||2021|
|Online Sports Betting||Yes||2021|
|Daily Fantasy Sports||Yes||2012|
|Charitable Gaming||Yes *||1952|
*-Maryland charitable gaming such as raffles and bingo is regulated at the county level and legal in most counties.
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 sports betting, which was approved by voters and subsequently signed into law in 2021.
While online sports betting is clearly more mainstream, online casino gambling continues to gain acceptance from both voters and state lawmakers, especially in the Mid-Atlantic region. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Michigan and West Virginia all allow online casino gambling. It may be just a matter of time before Maryland joins its neighbors.
Yes. Several forms of online gambling — including online sports betting, horse racing wagering and daily fantasy sports — are all legal in the state. Maryland online casinos, however, are not legal.
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 for casino gambling and sports betting; 18 for lottery, pari-mutuel wagering and charitable gaming.
Online casino gambling is not legal in Maryland. You may be receiving offers from sweepstakes or social casinos, like Hard Rock Social Casino, which are legal and safe, with games played for free and for entertainment purposes with no actual money changing hands. Or it may be a solicitation from an offshore-based online casino, whose operations violate state and federal laws and is not recommended or 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 six land-based casinos. They are Hollywood Casino Perryville; Horseshoe Casino Baltimore; Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover; MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill; Ocean Downs in Berlin; and Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Flintstone. All are open 24 hours except Ocean Downs, which operates 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 forms of online gambling.
"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."