IS ONLINE GAMBLING LEGAL IN MARYLAND?
Online gambling is not specifically mentioned in the law books of Maryland, but this is due to the fact that the internet was not in existence when the laws were put in place. The existing legislation, however, is broad enough to encompass online activities, which are therefore illegal.
The Federal laws pertaining to the ‘Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act’ and the ‘Federal Wire Act’ come into play in Maryland, as they do not have specific laws allowing online gambling. These laws strongly outlaw internet gambling. Things are looking up though, as many of the progressive states have already legalised online gambling, which gives hope to the future of Maryland.
It is however not advised that residents partake in illegal online gambling activities as they are currently punishable by the law.
Recent legislation in 2010 saw the legalising of land-based casino gambling. As such, 2012 saw the first regulated casinos open up, offering a mix of slot games, poker and other table games.
It is believed that the change of heart was purely revenue based, as the state was losing revenues because their residents were going to neighbouring states to gamble.
Now, the 5 current casinos in Maryland draw crowds from neighbouring states, themselves.
While online poker is illegal in the state of Maryland, there is hope that it will be legalised along with online gambling in the future.
Live poker rooms are however a big thing in Maryland, with regulated brick n mortar casinos hosting these well-attended games.
Home games are not technically legal. They are tolerated as long as no one is making a profit from hosting them, as this would constitute an illegal casino entity.
There are two predominant horse tracks in Maryland, where pari-mutuel betting is allowed. No other form of sports betting is allowed, especially online sportsbook.
Simulcast betting is allowed for horse races hosted in other parts of the United States.
Daily Fantasy Sports are allowed in Maryland. The law legalising these practices were made several years ago already. The decision was made that Fantasy Sports is not considered a game of chance, but rather a game of skill, and therefore became exempt from current online laws.
Although the history of Maryland is fraught with misuse and corruption in lottery management, there is still a state lottery in operation. This entity is however well regulated. The funds are used for education and other social wellness efforts.
If you are looking to play at online casinos in Maryland, or you want to play video lottery, you need to be 21 years of age or older. Normal lottery and pari-mutuel horse race betting requires gamblers to be at least 18 years of age to play.
Lottery and casino gambling are regulated by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. This organisation won the Gambling Regulator of the Year award in the US in 2014 and therefore make it a reliable state watchdog. Their offices are in Baltimore and they can be contacted on 410-230-8800.
Horserace betting, as well as off-site betting on horses, is governed and regulated by the state commissioned Maryland Racing Commission. They fall under the Department of Labour, Licensing and Regulation and can be contacted on 410-296-9682 or via email on email@example.com
For in-state help with problem gambling for either you or someone you know, you can contact ‘The Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling’. Treatment and counselling are free of charge to anyone struggling with a gambling addiction or other related problems. You can call their 24-hour helpline on 1-800-GAMBLER.
If you believe that you or someone you know may have issues with a gambling addiction or is a problem gambler in any capacity, you may also seek counsel at the National Council for Problem Gambling (NCPG) on 1-800-522-4700 (call or text) or via chat at ncpgambling.org/chat. There is a 24-hour helpline, where professionals will be able to give guidance and referrals, if necessary.
While a very conservative past has been enjoyed by anti-gamblers, the laws have relaxed on gambling tremendously over the past 9 years. The state has seized the opportunity to make more revenue via land-based casinos.
It is only the online gambling hurdle that must yet be crossed to make Maryland a gambling tolerant region. This looks likely, with the precedent set by some many other states, such as Delaware, New Jersey and others.
Maryland has become a gambling hub in the US, attracting players and gamblers from all over the region, including many of the neighbouring states, where just about all of your popular casino games can be enjoyed.
Although many other casino operators tell you that the USA is a grey zone as far as online gambling is concerned, it is not. We at Casino Tops Online advise that you respect the online gambling laws in Maryland and abstain from internet gambling.