A Complete Overview of Online Gambling in Maryland

There aren’t many states that had legalized forms of gambling in the 18th century, but Maryland is one of them. The Old Line state was running lotteries back when they were unheard of, even before some of the country was colonized! Maryland legalized lottery grants in 1791 to build churches, but in 1834 they had to reign in the lottery disaster – thousands of lotteries were operating simultaneously and very few among them were free of corruption. It wasn’t until 1920 that Maryland reconsidered its opinion on gambling, allowing for the formation of a horse racing oversight board to control horse races and betting on them.

In 1943, Maryland had an unusual surge of gambling – they legalized slot machines in a number of counties across the state, and soon thousands of these machines found themselves in bars, gas stations and malls. This lasted until 1963, when the Maryland government declared it would no longer renew slot machine licenses. The last slot machines in this state were removed in 1968.

However, five years later in 1973, the state had another change of heart, allowing for the formation of a state lottery and participation in multi-state lotteries as well. This seemed like a promising beginning, but the government didn’t act on it until 2012, when they legalized casino table games and allowed for new casinos to be built. There are now a total of six casinos in Maryland. While there is no tribal gaming, these six casinos take good care of the state’s gambling needs.

The only two forms of online gambling legal in Maryland are simulcast off-track betting on horse races and surprisingly, daily fantasy sports. The state made a push to legalize them in 2015 which failed, but then they adopted part of a federal law that exempts DFS from the gambling legislature. This is where the fun stops, as Maryland government officials have determined that online gambling is illegal in any form except pari-mutuel simulcast betting on horse races. The Old Line state isn’t banishing online gaming for good though – they are simply waiting to see how Delaware and the other states that accepted online gaming fare in the new environment. If there’s money to be made from taxes (and there is) they will likely adopt new legislature.

Maryland Gambling Overview:

  • Year Maryland regulated offline and online gambling: 2012 for offline gambling, online gambling remains regulated under the old law
  • Maryland gambling age: 21 for casinos, 18 for everything else
  • Legal online casino games in Maryland: N/A
  • Number of commercial casinos: 6
  • Number of tribal casinos: N/A
  • Top online casinos Maryland-wide: N/A

Gambling in Maryland: What’s Legal?

In Maryland, you can enjoy yourself at any of the six casinos, bet on horse races through simulcast or play daily fantasy sports. While social gaming is technically illegal, there is still a debate in the government whether to pursue action against offenders. The state offers two race tracks – Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park and you can bet on the races off-track. Sports betting is banned and tribal gaming is non-existent. Online gambling is banned with severe fines for gamblers but far more severe penalties for operators of online casinos in Maryland. Also, it’s important to note that smoking is banned in all indoor businesses in Maryland, which means you can’t smoke in their casinos either. Here are some casinos to try in Maryland:

Name Address Opening hours Games Dress code Phone number Website
Rocky Gap Casino Resort 16701 Lakeview Road, Flintstone  MD 24/7 600 slots, table games N/A +1 301-784-8400 www.caesars.com/horseshoe-baltimore
Horseshoe Casino 1525 Russell St, Baltimore, MD 24/7 2500 slots, table games N/A +1 844-777-7463 www.goldennugget.com/lake-charles/
Maryland Live! 7002 Arundel Mills Cir #7777, Hanover, MD 24/7 4000 slots, table games N/A +1 443-842-7000 www.livecasinohotel.com

Online Casinos in Maryland: What You Should Know

Maryland has pursued an active course to deter online gambling. Their Department of Justice led Operation Texas Hold’em, which seized online gambling funds, and they have prosecuted and indicted two operators of online casinos, seizing their domain as well. Therefore, there aren’t any legal online casinos in Maryland.

Are Maryland Online Casinos Legal for Non-Maryland Residents?

  • N/A

What types of games do Maryland online casinos have available?

  • N/A

Can I play online casino in Maryland if I don’t live there?

  • N/A

Do offshore online casinos operate in Maryland?

  • Most offshore casinos will not accept Maryland players.

How to Choose the Best Online Casino in Maryland

If you really want to gamble online, you’ll have to go to one of the neighboring states that has adopted the practice, such as Delaware. Otherwise, you may want to wait a few years since Maryland will likely legalize online casinos if the experiment succeeds in other states.

The Bottom Line on Maryland Online Gambling

Maryland has a rich history of betting on various things, gambling with machines and having all sorts of fun with staked cash. The horse races have a three-century tradition, even before the Declaration of Independence was signed. Right now, this state’s offer is very rich in variety and gambling options, but everyone is holding their breath to see if MD will legalize online casinos.