The gambling outlook in Maryland

In 2023, Maryland's gambling landscape is a vibrant mix of traditional and modern forms of wagering. The state has warmly welcomed the gambling industry, providing a wide array of gambling options for both locals and visitors. From the bustling casinos that dot the state to the digital realm of online sports betting, Maryland has become a hub for various forms of gambling.

The state's forward-thinking stance on gambling legislation has facilitated the development and expansion of the industry, significantly boosting the local economy and offering a source of amusement for many.

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πŸ“– Published on: June 15th, 2023

✍️ Updated: 5 days ago

⏳ 20 mins read

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Gambling in Maryland image
Maryland coat of arms image

The thriving gambling industry in Maryland is a clear reflection of the state's receptive attitude towards this form of entertainment. The state has successfully established a harmonious environment where various forms of gambling can flourish together. This harmony is showcased in the multitude of gambling options accessible to residents and visitors of Maryland. From the exhilaration of slot machines and the tactical allure of poker, to the suspense of sports betting and the relaxed enjoyment of bingo, Maryland's gambling landscape caters to a broad spectrum of tastes.

Maryland gambling laws and regulations

Maryland's gambling laws and regulations are overseen by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. In recent years, the state has made substantial progress in its gambling legislation, with the most notable achievement being the legalization of sports betting in April 2021. This milestone was reached when Governor Larry Hogan enacted the legislation, ushering in a new epoch of sports wagering in the state. The law permits up to 60 licenses for mobile betting operators and up to 30 for retail sportsbooks at diverse locations. This regulatory structure guarantees a secure and equitable gambling environment for all participants.

The state's regulatory approach to gambling is one of its key strengths. By establishing clear laws and regulations, Maryland has created a stable environment for the gambling industry to grow. This stability is advantageous not just for the operators managing the gambling venues, but also for the players engaging in the games. With well-defined regulations in place, players can partake in their preferred gambling activities without concerns over the legal implications of their actions.


What is considered as legal gambling

What is Considered as Legal Gambling in Maryland In Maryland, legal gambling activities are diverse and cater to different preferences. These include sports betting, both online and in-person, pari-mutuel horse racing wagering, daily fantasy sports, and casino games at six licensed casinos. The state also operates a lottery, although tickets are not sold online. The state's strategy towards legal gambling offers a broad spectrum of options for gamblers, guaranteeing there's something to cater to everyone's taste.

The diversity of legal gambling options in Maryland mirrors the state's comprehension of its residents' varied interests. By providing a comprehensive array of gambling activities, the state ensures that everyone can discover a form of gambling that aligns with their preferences. Whether you're a sports aficionado who relishes the adrenaline rush of betting on your favorite team, a casino enthusiast who thrives on the thrill of slot machines and table games, or a lottery player who savors the suspense of the draw, Maryland has a gambling option tailored for you.


What is considered as illegal gambling

Although Maryland offers a broad spectrum of legal gambling choices, any type of gambling that isn't explicitly authorized by the state is deemed illegal. This includes unlicensed online casinos and poker sites. The state takes a strict stance against illegal gambling activities, ensuring that all gambling within the state is regulated and fair.

Maryland's approach to illegal gambling is a crucial aspect of its gambling landscape. By adopting a strict position against unregulated gambling activities, the state safeguards the integrity of its gambling industry. This not only shields the players but also the operators who comply with the state's laws and regulations. Through discouraging illegal gambling, Maryland ensures that its residents and visitors can partake in a secure and equitable gambling experience.


Legal age to gamble in Maryland

The legal age to gamble in Maryland is 21. This rule encompasses all forms of gambling, including sports betting, casino games, and pari-mutuel wagering. The age restriction is rigorously upheld, ensuring the prevention of underage gambling.

The enforcement of the legal gambling age is a key aspect of Maryland's approach to responsible gambling. By making certain that only individuals of legal age partake in gambling activities, the state safeguards its younger residents from potential hazards linked to gambling. This commitment to responsible gambling underscores Maryland's devotion to creating a secure and enjoyable gambling environment for all its residents.

Real money casinos in Maryland

Maryland proudly hosts six casinos that provide real money gambling opportunities. These state-regulated establishments offer an array of games, including slots, table games, and poker, catering to a wide range of gambling preferences. Strategically spread across the state, these casinos ensure that no matter your location in Maryland, a thrilling gambling experience is never too far away. Beyond providing a secure and legal environment for gambling, these casinos significantly bolster the state's economy.

Maryland gambling

However, Maryland's casinos are more than just hubs for gambling; they serve as comprehensive entertainment hotspots. Equipped with restaurants offering diverse cuisines, bars serving a variety of beverages, and venues hosting live entertainment, these casinos deliver a holistic entertainment experience. The wide selection of games ensures that every visitor, from the casual player who finds joy in slots to the more serious player who relishes the strategy of table games or poker, finds something to their liking. These casinos, thus, not only cater to the gambling community but also contribute to Maryland's vibrant entertainment scene.


Online casinos

While Maryland has legalized online sports betting, online casinos are not currently legal in the state. However, lawmakers have expressed interest in legalizing online gambling, and a bill to this effect was introduced in 2023. The potential legalization of online casinos could significantly change the gambling landscape in Maryland, offering convenience and accessibility to gamblers.

The potential introduction of online casinos in Maryland generates considerable excitement for many. The allure of being able to engage in gambling activities from the comfort of one's home or while on the move is a significant attraction. Online casinos could potentially offer a broader array of games than their land-based counterparts, given they aren't constrained by physical space. However, the advent of online casinos would necessitate stringent regulation to guarantee fair play and safeguard players' interests.


Land-based casinos

Maryland's land-based casinos offer a wide range of gaming options. These include the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino and Hotel Hanover, Ocean Downs Casino, Hollywood Casino Perryville, and Bingo World. Each of these casinos provides a distinct gaming experience, boasting a diverse selection of games and amenities to choose from.

Every land-based casino in Maryland possesses its own unique allure. From the cosmopolitan elegance of the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore to the luxurious resort-like ambiance of the MGM National Harbor, there's a casino to match every taste and preference. These casinos present a broad spectrum of games, from classic table games like blackjack and roulette to an extensive assortment of slot machines. For those who favor a more strategic form of gambling, many of these casinos also feature dedicated poker rooms.


Tribal casinos

There are currently no tribal casinos in Maryland. The state's gambling industry is primarily made up of commercial casinos. While tribal casinos are a significant part of the gambling industry in many states, Maryland's gambling landscape is dominated by commercial entities.

The absence of tribal casinos in Maryland is notable, as these establishments are a significant part of the gambling industry in many other states.

However, Maryland's commercial casinos have successfully bridged this gap, providing a comprehensive array of gambling options for both residents and visitors.


Shipboard and floating casinos

Currently, Maryland does not host any shipboard or floating casinos. Although these types of gambling establishments are favored in some states, they have yet to make their debut in Maryland.

While shipboard or floating casinos can provide a distinctive gambling experience, Maryland's land-based casinos and other gambling avenues offer an abundance of options for both residents and visitors. It's uncertain whether this form of gambling will be introduced in the future, but for the time being, Maryland's gambling landscape is securely anchored on terra firma. The state's diverse gambling offerings ensure that gamblers have a wide range of options to choose from, regardless of the absence of shipboard or floating casinos.



Racinos, or race track casinos, are a popular form of gambling in Maryland. These facilities offer both casino games and pari-mutuel wagering on horse races. The combination of casino gaming and horse racing offers a unique gambling experience, making racinos a popular choice among gamblers in the state.

Racinos offer the best of both worlds for those who enjoy both casino games and horse racing. The excitement of the races combined with the thrill of the casino makes for a dynamic gambling experience. Maryland's racinos also play a significant role in bolstering the local economy and supporting the horse racing industry, thereby marking them as an integral component of the state's gambling ecosystem.


Off-track betting

Simulcast Racing and off-track betting constitutes a substantial segment of Maryland's gambling industry. Numerous facilities scattered across the state facilitate off-track betting, enabling patrons to place wagers on horse races occurring outside the state. These establishments offer a convenient avenue for horse racing aficionados to indulge in their favorite hobby without the need to travel to the racetrack. Often, the state's off-track betting facilities are located within racinos, creating a comprehensive gambling hub.

Off-track betting in Maryland presents a distinctive gambling modality that merges the thrill of live horse racing with the convenience of local betting establishments. These venues permit patrons to place bets on races happening nationwide, offering a more extensive range of betting options than a single racetrack could provide. This form of gambling holds particular appeal for horse racing enthusiasts, who can track and wager on their preferred horses and jockeys throughout the racing season, thereby enhancing their engagement with the sport.

Nearest land based casinos

We've compiled a list of the most trusted land-based casinos if you're searching for "Maryland casinos near me":

Hollywood Casino – Perryville
Hollywood Casino – Perryville is a 35,000 sq. ft. gaming facility situated in Perryville, Maryland. It offers an array of classic casino games such as slots, video poker, video keno, poker, three card poker, four card poker, craps, blackjack, roulette and ultimate Texas hold 'em. Plus, guests can bet on sports at the casino's sports book. However, there is no overnight RV parking available.
1201 Chesapeake Overlook Parkway, Perryville, MD 29103
Phone Number:
(410) 378-8500
Rocky Gap Casino Resort
Rocky Gap Casino Resort is located in Flintstone, Maryland and is home to a Jack Nicklaus designed par 72 golf course and 195 rooms with prices ranging from $149-$219. In addition, there are 5 suites where prices range from $219-$265. Dining at the casino is convenient with two different restaurants. Gaming options include a variety of slots, video poker, video keno, craps, blackjack, roulette, three-card poker, poker, big six, Mississippi stud, and ultimate Texas hold 'em. Although parking is free and valet is available, there is no overnight RV parking. Senior discounts are available on Mondays, so be on the lookout for various deals. The extraordinary Rocky Gap Casino Resort checks all the boxes for a perfect casino stay.
16701 Lakeview Road NE, Flintstone, MD 21530
Phone Number:
(301) 784-8400
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore offers a vibrant casino experience with something for everyone. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the 122,000 square foot casino features game favorites such as slots, video poker, baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Pai Gow Tiles, Mississippi Stud, Poker, Let It Ride, Video Keno, Craps, Blackjack, Roulette, Three Card Poker, Four Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold 'em, Off Track Betting and Sportsbook. Guests can also enjoy 5 restaurants with cuisine from all over the world. With a variety of games to choose from and a vivid atmosphere, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore is a destination for everyone.
1525 Russell Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
Phone Number:
(443) 931-4200
Live! Casino Hotel – Maryland
Live! Casino Hotel – Maryland offers guests luxurious rooms, suites, and five restaurants. Located in Hanover, Maryland, the 160,000 square foot property features 310 rooms with price ranges from $199-$239, as well as 53 suites starting at $299-$469. Casino games include slots, video poker, video keno, craps, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, three card poker, four card poker, pai gow poker, big six, Mississippi stud, and ultimate Texas hold 'em. A sportsbook is also available. For entertainment, the property has a 4,000 seat entertainment venue. Whether you're in Hanover for business or pleasure, Live! Casino Hotel – Maryland has something for everyone.
7000 Arundel Mills Blvd, Hanover, MD 21076
Phone Number:
(443) 842-7000
MGM National Harbor
MGM National Harbor is an upscale casino located at 101 MGM National Avenue in Oxon Hill, Maryland. With a wide range of amenities and entertainment options, this luxurious casino offers an unforgettable experience. The property boasts 234 well-appointed rooms and 74 suites, with prices ranging from $259 to $779. Guests can choose from seven exquisite restaurants, catering to various culinary preferences. The expansive casino floor spans 125,000 square feet and offers an extensive selection of games, including slot machines, video poker, video keno, craps, blackjack, roulette, Spanish 21, mini baccarat, three card poker, four card poker, pai gow poker, and poker. The casino also features a sportsbook for sports enthusiasts. Notably, MGM National Harbor hosts a remarkable 3,000-seat theater and luxury retail shops, providing a truly immersive and entertaining experience. Additionally, guests can indulge in relaxation at the spa and fitness center.
101 MGM National Avenue, Oxon Hill, MD 20745
Phone Number:
(301) 749-7500
Ocean Downs Casino
Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin, Maryland offers blackjack, roulette, three card poker, ultimate Texas hold'em, Mississippi stud, slots, video poker, and sportsbook betting. Enjoy live harness racing seasonally and enjoy daily simulcasting of thoroughbred and harness racing. Unfortunately, overnight RV parking is not offered. So come have some fun at Ocean Downs Casino and just don’t forget to leave after the last race!
10218 Racetrack Road, Berlin, MD 21811
Phone Number:
(410) 641-0600
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Sports betting

Since its legalization in 2021, sports betting has emerged as a significant force in Maryland's gambling landscape. The state has embraced an open market strategy, permitting up to 60 licenses for online sportsbooks. This approach has sparked a competitive market, with numerous operators competing for a slice of the profitable industry. Maryland residents and visitors have the opportunity to place bets on a diverse range of sports, both online and at retail sportsbooks scattered across the state.

The legalization of sports betting in Maryland has ushered in a new era of gambling possibilities for sports enthusiasts. Whether you're an avid football follower, a basketball devotee, or a baseball fan, sports betting enables you to interact with your favorite sports on a more intimate level. The exhilaration of forecasting a game's outcome, the strategic considerations involved in placing bets, and the potential for substantial winnings collectively contribute to the popularity of sports betting among Maryland's gambling community.

Maryland Sportsbetting

Social casinos

While online casinos are not permitted in Maryland, the state does allow social casinos, which function based on a sweepstakes model. These platforms enable players to partake in casino games purely for entertainment, with the added thrill of potentially winning prizes. Social casinos present a lawful alternative to online gambling, offering an enjoyable and engaging avenue for Maryland residents to experience casino games from the comfort of their homes.

Social casinos in Maryland introduce a distinctive form of online gambling. In contrast to traditional online casinos, which involve real money gambling, social casinos operate on a sweepstakes model. Players can acquire virtual currency to indulge in casino games for amusement, without any real money at stake. However, the opportunity to win prizes infuses an element of thrill into the games. Social casinos have gained popularity among individuals who appreciate casino games but prefer not to gamble with real money, providing a unique blend of entertainment and excitement.

Daily fantasy sports

Daily fantasy sports represent a favored form of online gambling in Maryland. Prominent operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel extend their services in the state, enabling residents to partake in daily and season-long fantasy sports competitions. These games infuse an additional layer of thrill into sports viewing, permitting fans to interact with their favorite sports in a novel and engaging manner.

Daily fantasy sports in Maryland present a unique fusion of sports enthusiasm and strategic gameplay. Participants have the opportunity to draft their own teams of real-world athletes and accumulate points based on their performance in actual games. This enables sports fans to connect with their favorite sports on a more profound level, introducing elements of strategy and competition to the experience. Regardless of whether you're a football aficionado, a basketball devotee, or a baseball enthusiast, daily fantasy sports provide a fresh and exhilarating way to engage with your favorite sports.


Bingo occupies a distinctive position in Maryland's gambling panorama. Games are accessible at casinos and independent bingo halls, offering a sociable and entertaining form of gambling. Whether it's traditional bingo or high-stakes games, Maryland's bingo scene caters to a wide range of preferences.

In Maryland, bingo transcends being merely a game; it's a social gathering. The communal aspect of the game, coupled with the excitement of the draw, renders bingo a favored choice among Maryland's gamblers. Whether you're partaking in a game at a casino or a standalone bingo hall, the sense of camaraderie among players and the thrill of the game combine to create a fun-filled and engaging gambling experience.


Poker is a staple at Maryland's casinos. Whether in dedicated poker rooms or on the main casino floor, poker enthusiasts can find a variety of games to suit their preferences. From Texas Hold'em to Omaha, Maryland's poker scene is vibrant and diverse, catering to players of all skill levels.

Poker in Maryland offers a strategic and engaging form of gambling. The game's blend of skill and chance, combined with the competitive nature of the gameplay, makes poker a popular choice among Maryland's gamblers. Whether you're an experienced professional or a casual player, Maryland's poker scene presents a variety of games and tournaments tailored to match your skill level and betting inclinations.

Gambling tips

When engaging in gambling activities in Maryland, there are a few pointers that can enrich the experience. Paramount among these is understanding the laws and regulations, which includes being aware of the legal gambling age (21 in Maryland) and comprehending the forms of gambling that are legal. Secondly, establishing a budget and adhering to it can avert excessive spending and potential financial complications. Lastly, it's crucial to remember that gambling should be perceived as a form of entertainment, not a money-making venture. Bearing these tips in mind can guarantee a safe and pleasurable gambling experience.

Like anywhere else, gambling in Maryland should be approached with a sense of responsibility and consciousness. Grasping the rules of the games you're participating in, recognizing your limits, and being cognizant of the risks involved can help ensure your gambling experience is both enjoyable and safe. Whether you're a seasoned gambler or a novice, these tips can serve as a guide for your gambling activities, ensuring a positive experience.

The history

The history of gambling in Maryland is both rich and diverse. The legalization of the state lottery in 1973 marked the inception of regulated gambling in the state. Since then, Maryland has progressively broadened its gambling offerings to encompass casinos, sports betting, and more. The state's forward-thinking approach to gambling legislation has facilitated the growth and prosperity of the industry, generating revenue for the state and serving as a source of entertainment for both residents and visitors.

The evolution of gambling in Maryland is a clear reflection of the state's progressive stance towards this form of entertainment. From the early establishment of the state lottery to the recent legalization of sports betting, Maryland has consistently updated its gambling legislation to cater to the evolving needs and preferences of its residents. This adaptability has enabled the state's gambling industry to flourish and expand, offering a comprehensive range of gambling options for both residents and visitors.


The future

The future of gambling in Maryland appears promising. With the potential diversification into online casinos and the sustained expansion of the sports betting market, Maryland's gambling industry is well-positioned for ongoing success. The state's progressive stance on gambling legislation and its dedication to providing a safe and regulated environment for gamblers indicate that Maryland is likely to maintain its leadership in the gambling industry.

The potential for expansion in Maryland's gambling industry is substantial. The potential legalization of online casinos could usher in a new era of gambling opportunities, while the persistent growth of sports betting presents exhilarating prospects for sports enthusiasts. As Maryland continues to modify its gambling legislation to cater to the evolving needs of its residents, the future of gambling in the state appears bright and promising.

Responsible gambling in Maryland

Responsible gaming is a key focus in Maryland. The state promotes responsible gaming through a variety of initiatives, including self-exclusion programs, problem gambling counseling, and educational resources. These initiatives strive to prevent problem gambling and offer assistance to those who may be grappling with a gambling addiction. By promoting responsible gaming, Maryland ensures that gambling remains a safe and enjoyable activity for all.

Maryland's commitment to responsible gaming is a crucial aspect of its approach to gambling. By providing resources and support for those who may be struggling with problem gambling, the state ensures that its residents can enjoy gambling in a safe and responsible manner. Whether you're a casual gambler or a regular player, it's important to remember the importance of playing responsibly and seeking help if you feel that gambling is becoming a problem.


What is the legality of online gambling in Maryland?

As of the year 2023, online sports betting is permitted in Maryland, whereas online casinos are not. Nonetheless, the state has demonstrated an interest in legalizing online casinos, and a bill proposing this was introduced in 2023.

How does Maryland oversee online gambling platforms?

Online gambling platforms in Maryland, specifically online sportsbooks, are regulated by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. The agency ensures that these platforms operate within the state's legal framework, providing a safe and fair gambling environment.

Is it permissible to use a VPN for online gambling in Maryland?

While technically possible, using a VPN to gamble online from Maryland is not recommended. It's important to abide by the state's gambling laws, which currently allow online sports betting but not online casino games. Using a VPN to access online casinos could potentially violate these laws.

Are there any online casinos that operate legally in Maryland?

As of 2023, online casinos are not legal in Maryland. However, the state does allow online sports betting. For casino games, Maryland residents can visit one of the state's six licensed land-based casinos or participate in social casinos, which operate on a sweepstakes model.

Katarina Oakshore
Editor | Casinos and Gambling

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