Despite having a rich history in gambling throughout the lottery and horse racing, Maryland was a late bloomer when it came to casino gambling. However, by passing a law to allow slot machines 2008, Maryland put the wheels in motion to have casinos built across the state.
The nation’s progress in casino gaming is promising, but from an online perspective Maryland isn’t a great place for sports bettors to live. While infrequently enforced, Maryland’s laws call for harsh penalties against anyone who puts any sort of wager outside of a casino in the state.
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Gaming Laws in Maryland
The Maryland Slot Machines Amendment was on the ballot at Maryland on November 4, 2008. The step gave the state the authority to issue up to five video lottery permits and place around 15,000 slot machines throughout the state at five distinct locations. If this law passed, Maryland became the 38th state to allow live casino gaming or slot machines.
In 2012, gaming rights in Maryland were enlarged even further. One additional casino was approved to be built along with the five that were approvedtable games were allowed to be introduced into these establishments. While prior to these casinos only served as slot parlors, they might now function more like regular casinos to include table games and poker rooms.
The legalization and expansion of those casinos has been a welcome change to the Maryland Code as betting outside of those legal casinos is strictly prohibited. Under Penal Code 12-102,”a person may not bet, wager, or bet” in the state of Maryland. Bettors which are captured and convicted are guilty of a misdemeanor that is subject to 6-12 weeks in prison plus a fine of $200 to $1000.
Sports Betting at Maryland
Sports gambling is illegal in the state of Maryland. While the majority of states offer much harsher penalties for bookmaking instead of gambling, Maryland’s state laws don’t really make specific reference of bookmaking. Instead, anyone who’s partaking in gambling whether they are gambling or receiving a bet are by the letter of the law committing a misdemeanor.
Offshore sportsbooks do not fall under the jurisdiction of Maryland’s state laws as they are not from the state or the nation. As a result, many still offer online betting to Maryland citizens despite it being illegal in the nation.
There are no specific mentions of online gambling anywhere in the Maryland Code, but it would be hard to argue against its own illegality when all forms of”gambling, wagering, and gambling” are deemed illegal and punishable by misdemeanor by the country. While this law isn’t a heavily controlled one, residents of Maryland must understand the risks that come with placing bets in the state and choose for themselves whether or not they would like to accept those risks. With no other sports betting paths available, online betting is the only viable option Maryland sports bettors possess.
Poker and Casino in Maryland
In 2010, the Hollywood Casino at Perryville opened, getting the first casino in Maryland to open its doors to the general public. Ocean Downs in Berlin followed in 2011, the Rocky Gap Casino Resort and the Maryland Live! Casino started in 2013 and the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore opened in 2014. In 2016, the MGM National Harbor will start in Prince George’s County.
The Horseshoe Baltimore has a World collection of Poker themed poker area, but the largest poker room in the state by far is the Maryland Live! Poker Room with More than 50 tables. Both places provide tournaments and cash games.
As is the case with online sports betting, many online poker rooms will accept business from Maryland residents since they are not under the authority of this state of Maryland. Playing online poker is illegal in the state of Maryland under the definition that any bet or wager is, even if poker isn’t mentioned specifically.
Poker players in Maryland must weigh the pros and cons of playing online illegally or playing live in the state’s legal casinos. Live games are more limited, but players do not have to worry about being captured .
Other Gambling Options in Maryland
Horse racing is alive and well in the state of Maryland with two harness race tracks at Ocean Downs and Rosecraft Raceway and three regular race tracks at Laurel Park Racecourse, Maryland State Fairgrounds (when the fair is in town) and the Pimlico Race Course. Baltimore’s Pimlico track hosts the annual Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown.
The Maryland Lottery has been created in 1973 and is the fourth largest contributor to the nation’s economy. The state offers in-state drawings, multi-state drawings including Powerball and Mega Millions, and scratch ticket games.