May 20, 2024
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Gambling in Maryland: What’s Legal Online and What’s Not

Are you a casino fan who happens to live or visit Maryland? Well, this tiny U.S. state might surprise you with its ambiguous gambling laws. Nevertheless, this place happens to be one of the most progressive in this aspect in the past few years. While you might like sports betting, you may also want to enjoy your favorite online casino games from the comfort of your home. In this case, we’ll help you learn what gambling is allowed and prohibited in Maryland. Besides, you’ll learn about the state’s unusual relationship with casinos and the current status of sports betting. Best of all, you’ll learn whether online gambling sites are okay to use. Here’s the full lowdown on gambling laws in the Old Line State.

What Are The Gambling Laws for Online Casinos in Maryland?

Nowadays, online gambling has become a legal entertainment in many U.S. states, allowing people to play their favorite games occasionally. Arguably, Aviator Game (you will find a useful article here) is one of the most popular crash casino games for Americans. However, Maryland still prohibits online casinos, and playing such games there is illegal. Fortunately, the latest gambling legislation to legalize online casino games is pending approval. Here’s the current status of the gambling laws in the state:

Casino gaming

For now, Maryland gives its citizens and visitors the option to play in six brick-and-mortar casinos. Surprisingly, they offer classic game genres like slot machines, blackjack, roulette, and poker. However, online casino gambling is still prohibited and considered illegal.

Sports betting

Despite the challenge of implementing online casino legislation, Maryland voters approved sports betting in 2020. In 2022, online betting became a reality, allowing state citizens to bet on their favorite horse without leaving their homes.

The future of online gambling in Maryland

So far, there have been a few attempts to pass online gambling and poker legislation in Maryland. The latest one was in 2023 but didn’t advance, leaving Marylanders with the only option to visit casinos in person. Alternatively, they can cross state lines and gamble on casino games online legally.

Maryland allows several types of gambling, but online options are limited. As a resident, you can place bets at horse racing tracks, play the lottery, visit casinos, and wager on sports. Some counties also permit bingo and raffles for charities.

Horse Racing

Maryland has a long horse racing history and allows betting at tracks like Pimlico, Laurel Park, and Rosecroft Raceway. You must be at least 18 to wager on races.


The Maryland Lottery offers draw games like Powerball and Mega Millions and scratch-offs. You can purchase lottery tickets at retailers across the state if you’re 18 or older. Proceeds fund education programs.


Maryland has six casinos featuring slots and table games. The minimum age is 21. While the state legislature has considered online casinos, none currently operate.

Sports Betting

You can place wagers on pro and college sports at casinos and certain restaurants with a sports lounge. Sports betting launched in Maryland in 2021.

Illegal Gambling in Maryland and Consequences

Maryland approves gambling only through special licenses that allow the offering of lottery, horse racing, and casino services. Any person or entity that offers gambling without the proper credentials effectively runs an illegal gambling operation or participates in unregulated gambling. Such an act is considered a misdemeanor and may result in legal prosecution.

Illegal Casinos

Online casinos and sportsbooks are illegal in Maryland. While Maryland has legalized some forms of gambling, operating an online casino is not one of them. Participating in illicit online gambling operations can result in criminal charges.

Recovering Losses

If you lose money through an illegal gambling operation in Maryland, the law allows you to potentially recover those losses by suing the operators. You would need to prove that the gambling was unlawful and resulted in financial damages. Recovering losses from illegal gambling is a civil matter, not a criminal one.

Penalties for Illegal Gambling

Marylanders who gamble illegally usually face misdemeanor charges and a small fine of $1,000. However, more severe cases may face stricter penalties. For example, illegal gambling online can result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years. Meanwhile, running gambling operations without a license may get you up to 5 years and federal prosecution. Depending on the nature and scale of the illegal gambling, you can get up to 25 years.


Undoubtedly, Maryland has made some strides toward legalizing some forms of gambling in the past few years. Still, there’s a lot to do regarding regulating online casinos and the slew of casino games that come with them. But hey, at least you can play the lottery or bet on horses. Alternatively, you can visit casinos and play slots and table games legally within state lines. As more states expand their gambling laws, maybe Maryland will continue to loosen up, too. Until then, play it safe and stick to what’s allowed if you want to test your luck in the Old Line State.

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