Maryland Online Casinos – Legal Casinos For Maryland

Local state laws make provision for several regulated gambling markets, which includes traditional casino gaming activities. Maryland, as one of the 13 original founding colonies, played a key role in American history. Considered by many as a focal point of global religious freedom, this state served since its formation as a refuge for immigrants fleeing religious and other forms of persecution throughout Europe.

During its formative years, Maryland required a rapid influx of money to raise funds for the high-speed development of a local infrastructure. Gaming revenue perfectly suited their requirements, as such the state proceeded to raise funds from lottery and raffle styled games. These entertainment types meant for the entertainment of the general populace remained under control of both private industry and the colonial governments. This speedily provided the necessary funds to raise essential infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, industrial parks etc.

Despite the market showing a downward trend in spending on gambling related activities during the 19th & 20th centuries, the vigorous market over the last 10 to 12 years sparked a new wave of interested parties wanting to revitalise local commercial gaming revenues. This gave rise to several gambling types falling under the spotlight for legalisation, including casino games, lotteries, as well as OTB race betting.

Top 10 Maryland Online Casino Rooms

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Over the past decade lawmakers in Maryland quietly went about creating one of the US’s most gambling friendly environments. This positive change in attitude gained momentum after the legalisation of video poker and slot machines in 2008, with ongoing reforms till present-day. Voters in Maryland will soon have their deciding say on the future of DFS betting, this further increases the state’s reputation as a focal point for liberal gaming politics.

This type of progressive thinking ensured the state’s early success and has carried through to this day which sees Maryland still raising massive revenues off its regulated gaming industry. Providing a clear indication that the state’s lawgivers consistently created a positive environment wherein the gaming industry prospered to establish a generous, easy and steady stream of revenue to the benefit of its residents.

The state raises an approximated $2.4 billion in annual revenue from gambling, of which it receives $1.2 billion from direct gambling taxes. One remarkable fact to consider, just ten short years ago there were no legal casino games in existence within state borders, while in the current favourable climate of revised gambling laws sees the appearance new casino construction projects on a regular basis.

However, the state penal code remains explicitly clear on the types of gaming activities that are legal and those remaining on the wrong side of the law.

The Legal Status of Gambling in Maryland

The state’s gaming laws contain some unusual definitions when describing what a gaming establishment comprises of. The law creates an unusual definition of a gaming establishment when it determines that “a patron playing a game at a gaming establishment”, simply because this description specifically excludes numerous common gambling forms.

The following gambling types are completely legal within state borders: Casino Gambling, Lotteries and Social Gambling. Traditional types of casino gambling remain the most popular amongst residents, with the legalisation of slots and video poker voted into casinos during 2008. Another referendum four years later legalised classic casino table games with a landslide majority vote.

The statewide popularity of lotteries sees it garnering top spot in a closely contested second place, both in revenue and levels of participation. Marylanders are free to purchase state issued raffle and scratch cards, with the state cooperating in a number of multi-state games.

The laws governing social gambling remain restrictive with social or so-called “private” gambling mainly limited to charitable event participation. These games sponsored by charity organisations allow for raffles, bingo as well as Vegas Night type casino games, with the provision of an extensive rule set as laid out by the Maryland government. In contrast to the state-wide laws, many believe social gambling is lawful within Baltimore, which is entirely untrue. Most of the confusion originates from a single line of text in state law that states that Baltimore police officers may, as an alternative to arrest and jail time, choose to simply issue a citation to persons suspected of illegal gambling. The law originally intended to ease the pressure on local law-enforcement due to the penchant of Baltimore resident’s commonly playing poker and dice games with small accompanying wagers.

Online Gambling still possesses somewhat of a “black hole” status in the state legislature, having no explicit approval or restrictive ruling for or against it. Similar to many other US states it is simply a matter of legislators not having addressed it, with online gambling still being a relatively youthful technology. In addition, the Maryland legislature is heavily lobbied by conventional gaming entities, which leaves online gambling not explicitly forbidden and with no consideration given to enact laws that would regulate or change its current status. This does not automatically make it legal since Maryland battles all formats of gambling not implicitly legalised. However, once again similar to many US states, no one within Maryland’s borders has ever been charged or prosecuted with any crime related to online wagering.

Establishing yet another first, Maryland voters may soon become the US’s first citizens to determine on the legality of Daily Fantasy Sports within the state. To date, all states that disallowed this popular activity did so at the legislative level, while it seems increasingly likely that the state legislature will put the legality of DFS to a voting referendum. Unusually, Maryland already features one of the most liberal fantasy sports laws, already passed legislation in 2012.

Lastly to address a common misconception amongst US citizens which leaves them believing that persons losing money on illegal games of chance are entitled to try recovering their losses subject to certain conditions. The above may technically be true but falls outside the practised spirit of the law. Maryland’s law addresses it specifically stating that any persons losing money is at any form of prohibited gaming may attempt to recover the funds by treating it as common debt, with the proviso that they have access to competent witnesses to assist in improving their loss.

Future of Casinos in Maryland

The laws regulating gambling within Maryland’s borders provide yet another fine example of a US state possessing a curious next mixed bag of gambling laws. The “Free State’s” laws readily allow for gambling activities such as lotteries and casinos, but heavily restricts any form of sports pools or wagering on poker games played in private. While online gambling remains a bit of an unacknowledged stepchild that could be both legal and illegal depending on which part of the letter of the law one looks at.
Despite the holes and grey areas in the current state penal system, Marylanders already enjoy far more freedom than most American citizens. With the current positive atmosphere towards legalising many formats of gambling the future of the gambling industry as a whole looks extremely promising within state borders.

Maryland FAQ

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