Understanding Maryland Gambling Law
This is the highest in the country. Each also has a race book for simulcast betting. Maryland casino gamblers must be 21 years or older. Get in touch with a lawyer who has gambling-related experience in your state if you have any question of consequence. The first scratch-off ticket was not sold until February 10, Horse racing is the oldest form of Maryland gambling. Stop by BetOnline Poker to find out what online gambling action at BetOnline is turning out to be the talk of the town.
Maryland Gambling & Poker Laws Summarized
Live Poker The poker rooms in Maryland casinos are very popular, offering cash games and tournaments. Casinos There are fully-functional casinos in six Maryland counties, all of which offer all types of gambling, including table games like poker. DFS Bills introduced in seek to regulate daily fantasy sports, but the legislature has not voted on final proposals. Other Forms of Gambling Horse and harness racing, pari-mutuel betting, lottery, bingo and raffles, charitable gambling.
Any discussion of the legality of online poker — or any form of gambling, really — has to begin with a caveat: Get in touch with a lawyer who has gambling-related experience in your state if you have any question of consequence. To help you with what can be a dense read, here are some of the most important parts presented in laymans terms:.
While most states provide a definition of gambling, Maryland instead relies on a broad prohibition of the basic act of gambling. Participants face far tougher penalties at least theoretically than they would in neighboring states. You might not think of a deck of cards and a kitchen table as gaming devices, but Maryland law is broad on this point, defining a gaming device as basically anything involved in the playing of a game that involves betting or wagering: As you can see, Maryland law regarding gambling in general, and therefore poker specifically, is a complicated animal.
Hopefully this starting point has gotten you closer to answers for your questions about online poker sites and the law in Maryland. Online gambling was on the table, albeit briefly, in when the state was discussing gambling expansion plans.
We expect legislation addressing online poker to come up in Maryland in , although it may be a bit longer than that before a bill actually can actually pass into law. Maryland is actually in the midst of what most would consider to be their third wave of gambling expansion. The first was in the s, when several American states had rather liberal attitudes toward various forms of gambling in both private and public settings.
The next was in the s, when slots were briefly legalized in some Maryland counties. The final, and current, wave stretches back to , when Maryland sold their first lottery ticket and continues to this day, most recently with the vote to once again expand gambling in November All of the big five regulated gambling options are available in Maryland except for one — tribal gambling.
That leaves pari-mutuel wagering, casino-style gambling, the Maryland lottery and a nice selection of charitable-focused gambling on the regulated gambling menu for Marylanders. Maryland is easily in the top tier of states when it comes to quantity and depth of regulated gambling activity. The state is heading toward regulation, and it might be more than poker when all is said and done.
Even the most conservative daily fantasy sites accept players from Maryland. Horse racing is the oldest form of Maryland gambling. There were once six tracks in the state. There are now just two that offer scheduled races with pari-mutuel betting. Pimlico is home to the Preakness race , which is part of the Triple Crown. There are two types of games of chance widely available in Maryland.
Charities may offer bingo and raffles. Bingo rules are liberal. Raffles may only be operated twice per year. Local governments set the licensing and location rules for charitable gambling in Maryland. A state lottery sells scratch-off and lotto tickets. These are available at convenience stores throughout the state.
There are five Maryland casinos. MGM National Harbor will open in late These Maryland casinos offer all the same games found in New Jersey or Nevada. Maryland gambling laws are strict for activities that are not specifically legal. Possession of gambling devices is illegal for residents. This also applies to vessels that may go out into international waters.
Charities must register with local authorities. Charitable games permitted are paddlewheels, wheel of fortune, raffles and bingo. Charities may hold no more than two raffles per year. Bingo players may not purchase more than 54 tickets in a session. Maryland casinos are allowed to operate if legalized through a local referendum. Each region may only have one gambling operation. There are six jurisdictions that voted to allow casinos in Maryland. The Maryland casinos are located in:.
Maryland casinos may offer a wide variety of games. There is a 67 percent tax rate on slots. This is the highest in the country. The tax on table games and live poker is 20 percent. Horseracing is legal in Maryland. Greyhound racing is not. Racetracks may offer live racing and race books.
Registered interstate racing companies may accept bets over mobile apps and the Internet in Maryland. The state lottery may sell scratch-off tickets and hold lotto drawings. It may participate in interstate lotto drawings.
Tickets may not be sold over the Internet. Maryland is one of two states, the other being Kansas , that specifically legalized fantasy sports. The state adopted the fantasy sports exemption in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in There is some debate as to whether the language applies to daily fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel.
The minimum gambling age in Maryland is 18 years for lotteries, racing, and charitable gaming. Maryland casino gamblers must be 21 years or older. Beyond the hundreds of lottery retailers and bingo halls, there are just eight places to gamble in Maryland.
Laurel Downs and Pimlico Race Course are the two racetracks. There are days of live racing between these two venues. Each also has a race book for simulcast betting. There are five Maryland casinos open for business in the state. A sixth is currently under construction. Horse racing dates back to the mid 18 th Century.
The Maryland Jockey Club was founded in Its first races were held at Pimlico Race Course. It is still open today and home of The Preakness, one of the three Triple Crown races.
Racing became specifically legal under state law in That is when pari-mutuel betting pools were created in Maryland under a state racing commission.