Maryland Casinos and State Gambling Laws

Much like states such as Maine, Maryland is also undergoing a gambling industry expansion.  While gambling has existed in the state since the 19th century, it has gone through several incarnations in terms of statutory regulations.  During the middle of the 20th century, state residents and visitors began to enjoy slot machines in certain counties.  The lottery started in 1973 and gambling began to boom in 2011-2012. Gambling options include the following: racing and associated betting, bingo and raffles, regulated casinos.  Individuals 21 years old may gamble at casinos/play slot machines, and those at least 18 years old may engage in the other forms.

Online Gambling

So far, online gambling is not legal in Maryland. Since legislators seem keen on expanding the industry so as to reap the financial benefits, there is reason to believe online gambling will become a legal reality, sooner rather than later.  Like other states, even though online gambling is not expressly illegal, it is also not expressly legal.  As such, while players likely will not be the targets for crackdowns, one must nevertheless use caution if engaging in play on online sites, even if those sites are regulated by other states’ regulatory agencies.

By design or happenstance, Maryland’s gambling laws are astonishingly broad.  Consequently, this gives the States lots of latitude if it ever did decide to crackdown on players.  Section 12-102, for instance, articulates that it is against the law to “bet, wager or gamble.”  This, however, is presumed to mean when such activity has not been already regulated by the state.  Additionally, Maryland’s gambling laws are often county-specific.  So, one could be perfectly fine engaging in certain activities in their own county but then break the law in another, without even knowing.

Recent Developments

Recent developments in the state have focused on expanding casino gambling since there has been an explosion of demand.  However, as much as the topic is one of consumer demand it is also one of competing special interests.

Casinos in Maryland

The casinos in the state include the following: Rocky Gap Casino Resort, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, Hollywood Casino Perryville, Maryland Live!, Ocean Downs, and MGM National Harbor.

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