Is Online Gambling Legal in Maryland?

Bykathryn

Is Online Gambling Legal in Maryland?

Although Maryland online casinos are still illegal, it is possible to enjoy casino gaming through offshore websites which accept players from Maryland and offer welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions that increase betting opportunities.

Maryland does not explicitly legalize online casinos and pokers, yet lawmakers recognize their benefits. Land-based casinos were approved nearly a decade ago while legislation legalizing sports betting passed in May 2021.

Legality

Maryland may be moving slowly toward full regulation of online gambling, but significant progress was made when it comes to sports betting in November 2022 when its first legal sportsbooks opened for business.

Retail sportsbooks allow bettors to place wagers on college and professional sports. Under its sports betting law, Pennsylvania also allows up to 60 mobile sportsbooks to operate within its borders.

Maryland lawmakers remain open to legalizing online casinos, though legislation to put this question to voters died in March. Any online casinos coming to Maryland will likely be overseen by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, while in the interim residents can access offshore online casinos that operate outside of the US. Maryland offers a voluntary exclusion program for anyone who recognizes that they cannot stop gambling; those on its list would be banned from entering casinos or purchasing lottery tickets.

Regulation

Maryland voters overwhelmingly supported sports betting in a referendum, prompting their state legislature to pass legislation legalizing it. Retail sports betting started in December 2021 while online wagering began one year later on November 23rd 2022. A variety of operators have been licensed for sports betting operations within Maryland’s borders while an active Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission oversees this industry and grants licenses as required.

Maryland currently legalizes six land-based casinos and horse races, but residents don’t have many online casino gambling options available to them. A number of states that have legalized online casino gaming have seen it generate significant revenues for their local economies while providing support to brick-and-mortar casinos.

If Maryland lawmakers decide to legalize online gaming, they will be required to develop a regulatory framework – including age verification, geolocation and responsible gaming policies as well as licensing procedures to ensure operators comply with state laws.

Taxes

As Maryland explores legalizing online casino gaming, they must also determine how much tax to charge players. Maryland casinos currently split 20% of table game winnings with the state and charge slot machine net wins a graduated scale tax from 40%-61% – this revenue supports various programs within Maryland such as education and problem gambling initiatives.

Maryland sports betting has already begun and is projected to generate $25.3 million during its inaugural year, according to Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission estimates. Revenue from sports betting will be divided up among various funds with most going towards public education initiatives through Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund.

Though Maryland doesn’t yet offer online gaming (iGaming), they will likely introduce it by 2024. The industry could create thousands of jobs and stimulate economic development while employing cutting-edge tools for player protection and responsible gaming; such as age verification mechanisms to prevent underage gambling and geolocation technology to verify player locations; these tools also use security measures that surpass those found with cash bets.

Offshore casinos

Maryland does not authorize or regulate offshore casinos; however, the state offers a voluntary exclusion program which enables residents to opt-out of participating in casino games and lotteries; although its application to online gambling remains unknown.

Although Maryland Code prohibits betting or gambling of any sort, including online gambling sites like Pokerstars or Full Tilt, state authorities have never prosecuted any player found engaging in offshore sites.

Maryland differs from other states by taking a more relaxed approach when it comes to enforcing its regulations, making it harder for people to enjoy classic casino games from home such as roulette and blackjack. But other forms of gambling exist, including fantasy sports betting (which has recently become a trend) or WorldWinner skill gaming platforms with real cash prizes for residents.

About the author

kathryn author