Gambling activities have been a talking point across the United States for years now, and while some states are rather open-minded about this form of entertainment, others continue to maintain their tough stance.
Maryland is certainly not among the US states that are hostile to gambling and keeps on building on the growth, which is driven by the industry. There are a number of regulated markets within the territory of the state, and as it seems, its residents support the idea of expanding the range of the legal forms of gambling further.
Brick-and-mortar Casinos in Maryland
Apparently, Maryland is a fertile ground for several forms of gambling, which is certainly not the case with the majority of the US states. The information on the topic is abundant, and there are numerous sites that provide analysis of the gambling regulations in the different states and countries.
It is easy to see why the state is considered a gambling hotspot, and the fact that slots and table games were given the nod around a decade ago goes to prove this.
When the legal status of gambling on the territory of Maryland is concerned, the majority of the gambling-related matters have their answers within the code of Maryland, Criminal Law, and Maryland Business Regulations.
As for slots they were legalized back in 2008 after nearly 60% of the people that took part in the referendum voted for it, which made Maryland the 38th state where casino-style gambling is made legal. As the measure was approved, this made it possible for 15,000 slot machines to be installed across the land-based casinos of the state.
The table games in which players can take part without infringing the law include blackjack, craps, baccarat, roulette, pai gow poker, sic bo, poker, and big six wheel. Besides, taking part in gaming tournaments is also within the law.
Hollywood Casino Perryville is the very first casino, which opened its doors on the territory of the state back in 2010. In the next few years, several other casino operators started accommodating residents of Maryland, and thus, the number of the gambling venues has now grown to six.
2012 was certainly quite an eventful year for casino enthusiasts because back then, live table games were also made legal.
Some changes were introduced also when it comes to the punishment, which is imposed upon people who take part in illegal forms of gambling. Prior to 2019, the people who were found to engage in illegal gambling would suffer a hefty fine and could have been sentenced to a maximum of one year. Yet, under the updated regulations, individuals might end up paying a fee of a maximum of $1,000.
When it comes to the regulatory oversight in the state, the main governing body is the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission, which is within the agency, on the other hand, monitors the implementation of table games and video lottery terminals.
Casino operators can obtain a license through a competitive bidding process before they could supply their services to state residents. When it comes to the taxes that are withheld from players’ winnings that go over the $5,000 threshold, residents of the state need to pay a fee of 8.75% of the amount they have earned, while non-residents are facing a fee of 7.5%
Another regulation, which affects gambling enthusiasts is the legal age, and the minimum age for casino-style games is 21, while the minimum age requirement for lotteries and bingo is 18 years.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Maryland
Under the Maryland Code, players are not permitted to use the services of a gaming operator, which has not obtained a license from the state. Yet, unlike some other US states that have addressed the different forms of gambling, including their virtual form, this is not so with Maryland. One of the most probable explanations of why online gambling is not specifically addressed in the legislation of the state is that it has not been part of its history for that long.
Still, considering the fact that most forms of gambling are already made legal in the state, it is reasonable to assume that things might change soon. And even more so, considering what massive growth-driver gambling has already become.
Legalization of Sports Betting
It seems that lawmakers are willing to ensure that Maryland will keep pace with its neighboring states that have already given sports betting the nod. During the referendum, which took place on November 3, 2020, the sports betting expansion measure got overwhelming approval from voters.
Although much work needs to be done before the first sports bets are wrapped up in the state, the industries already have a skin in the game and have made much effort to bolster wagering on sports.
The process is slowed down a bit because lawmakers first need to pass enabling legislation before the industry could start working at full steam. What lovers of sports betting might be pleased to hear, however, is that there are already operators that are planning on releasing mobile apps and establishing physical sportsbooks. Whether they will succeed to realize their plans is yet to be seen in the months to come.