There’s no clear answer to when Maryland online casinos might be coming. However, Maryland has been making plenty of moves concerning gambling in recent years.
While we wait for Maryland to legalize online casinos, MD residents happily have an alternative. The state does allow Sweepstakes and Social online casinos. These sites are legal and offer the same or similar slots as you’d find in land-based and online casinos. What makes them legal is that Sweepstakes sites do not use real money to bet. Sweepstakes casinos use ‘Sweeps Coins’ instead of dollars. Most sites allow players to redeem Sweeps Coins for cash prizes when they win.
If real money gaming is what you are looking for, Maryland has six casinos across the state to choose from.
We’ll keep you updated on the status of online casinos in Maryland, including any legislation that could expand the industry and provide more in-state gambling options.
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Are Maryland online casinos legal?
No. Online casinos and online poker are not legal in Maryland.
|Are there legal online casinos in Maryland?
|When will online casinos be legal in Maryland?
|2024, at the earliest (and probably after that).
|What legal online options do you have now?
|Sweepstakes and social online casinos can operate legally in Maryland.
|Are there retail/physical casinos in Maryland?
|Yes. Six retail casinos operate in the state.
|How old do you have to be to gamble in Maryland?
|Whether it’s in person or online, Maryland bettors must be 21 years or older.
When might Maryland legalize online casinos?
If online casinos come to Mayrland it will not be before the November 2024 elections. The timeframe for online casinos in Maryland is unclear. However, nearby states that have online casinos may offer clues based on their current status of gambling.
The launch of online sports betting was a top priority for Maryland lawmakers and regulators in the back half of 2022. In 2023 attention moved to online casinos. Senators Ron Watson and Nancy King introduced an online casino bill in January 2023. A referendum on the upcoming November 2024 general election ballot will pose the question:
“Do you favor the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland to authorize Internet gaming for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education?”
If a majority of Maryland voters support the referendum, Maryland online casinos would become legal 30 days following the official tally of votes.
Social and sweepstakes casinos
While the citizens of Maryland wait for the outcome of the 2024 elections it is possible to legally play for fun on social and sweepstakes casinos online.
Top social and sweepstakes casino sites include:
- Chumba Casino
- LuckyLand Slots
You can also play for fun on some of the social casino sites associated with retail casinos in Maryland. In particular, MGM National Harbor offers MGM Slots Live.
Retail casinos in Maryland
Maryland is home to six brick-and-mortar casinos. Some of the biggest names in gambling count one of these as part of their portfolio. The properties range from large-scale casinos that would be comfortable in Atlantic City or Las Vegas to operations that are merely part of the larger slate of activities at a resort — right next to horseback riding or kayaking. Here are the options:
|Hollywood Casino Perryville
|Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
|Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland
|MGM National Harbor
|Ocean Downs Casino
|Rocky Gap Casino Resort
*Golden Entertainment has agreed to sell Rocky Gap to Century Casinos/VICI Properties.
Is it legal to gamble at offshore casinos?
Maryland law does not explicitly allow the practice, regardless of what such offshore sites might claim online.
Casino sites like Bovada, America’s Cardroom, and BetOnline are based outside the US. As a catch-all term, they are referred to as “offshore” casinos. They offer casino games, but no Maryland law allows them to do so.
They can operate because they are outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. and there’s no law specifically prohibiting them. Without a law prohibiting offshore casinos, they can claim that they are not running afoul of any law in the state.
However, the debate about their legality is largely irrelevant since the real issue is the lack of regulations and customer protections.
Because offshore casino sites operate outside the United States, they do not have to follow US laws. If you encounter any disputes with such a site, your options for redress are limited. The site could refuse to issue you a withdrawal, lock your account, or close up shop, and there would be nothing you could do about it.
While these sites may claim that they operate under the authority of a regulating agency, there’s no way to know if this is true. If the offshore casino does operate under a regulatory agency there is no way to know what authority the agency has or to confirm its impartiality.
Finally, even if the site’s ownership does endeavor to operate fairly, it may not adequately protect your information. Remember, you have to provide personal and banking details to play. You shouldn’t risk your financial security or identity over a $5 bet on an offshore blackjack table.
Problem gambling support in Maryland
Most Maryland gamblers can place their bet and emerge none the worse for wear. Unfortunately, some people in the state gamble to an unhealthy degree. Thankfully, Maryland allocates government resources to address problem gambling.
The law requires that each casino in the state pays hundreds of dollars for each game it offers on its floor to fund responsible gambling efforts. As a result, you can get help in Maryland without spending a dime of your own money. Your best resource is the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling (MCEPG).
This organization, part of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, can help connect you with counseling, peer support groups, and educational resources about controlling your gambling. All services are free, including referrals to counselors and treatment from the counselors. You can either visit the website for the MCEPG through the link above, or you can call/text 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) to speak to a trained referral specialist. The phone line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A similar organization is the Maryland Council on Problem Gambling. This group, the state affiliate of the National Council on Problem Gambling, can also connect you with treatment providers. The MCPG is also heavily involved with educating Marylanders about the realities of problem gambling and the ways to fight against it. The organization routinely advocates on behalf of all problem gamblers in the state.
A third option for problem gamblers and their families is peer support groups in the state. These groups can provide empathy, support, accountability, and strategies to push back against the desire to gamble. Top support groups or outlets include the following:
- Gamblers Anonymous — Multiple in-person meetings around Maryland each week.
- Gamtalk — Online peer support forum available 24/7.
- Gam-Anon — A support group for families and friends of problem gamblers.
Finally, Maryland does offer a “nuclear” option for problem gamblers. The state’s voluntary exclusion program allows you, under the threat of criminal trespass, to bar yourself from entering the premises of any Maryland gambling facility and/or purchasing lottery tickets. You must remain on the list for no less than two years, and removal from the list is subject to the approval of the gambling commission, which will require you to undergo an assessment by a counselor.
Family members and friends cannot act as proxies to put you on the list.
Maryland online casino FAQ
Are online casinos legal in Maryland?
No. Any online casinos you find via a web search are offshore casinos operating outside US and Maryland law.
Who will regulate online casinos if Maryland legalizes them?
In all likelihood, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. Although there is no online casino bill on the horizon in the state, the agency is the most obvious choice to regulate online casinos should they become legal.
How much money do retail casinos in Maryland generate?
Roughly $2 billion per year. According to records from the state, the six casinos generate between $160 million and $185 million in monthly revenue, and revenues from FY 2022 surpassed the $2 billion mark for the first time in state history.
Who would operate online casinos in Maryland if legalized?
If Maryland legalizes online casinos, the companies that own the six land-based casinos in the state seem the likeliest to operate online sites. Companies like BetMGM, Caesars, and Penn National Gaming would likely be the recipients of licenses or license eligibility if the time came.
Can you use BetMGM Casino in Maryland?
No. Online casino gambling is not legal in the state, so you won’t be able to play online games at BetMGM Casino until that changes.