HOW WE CHOSE THE BEST ONLINE CASINOS IN MARYLAND?
Since online casinos are not licensed in Maryland and their status remains somewhat complex, this website will focus on providing information about sweepstakes. We will also continuously update the site with the latest news and developments regarding online casinos in Maryland to ensure that you always have access to current and relevant information.
LICENSING OF ONLINE CASINOS
Unfortunately for residents of the Old Line State, as of early 2024, online casinos are not yet legal in Maryland. However, a proposal has been put forth to permit a referendum during the November 2024 general election. Should receive voter approval, Maryland would authorize online casino games.
But for the moment, Maryland residents will have to settle with other gambling alternatives that are actually legal in the state. Fortunately for them, the state does have a thriving land-based casino industry, with several brick-and-mortar establishments offering a variety of gaming options, so residents have at least a good alternative to resort to.
Additionally, Maryland is one of several states that have legalized sports betting, allowing residents to wager on sporting events both in-person and online through licensed operators. Nonetheless, they do have to wait a little while longer for online casinos, at least until November of this year.
All the sweepstakes we promote must have a wide variety of different games and themes, so you can be sure that you will find a sweepstake that you like yourself.
It’s very important for us to only promote reputable providers of sweepstakes that are free and therefore legal for residents of Maryland. There is no need to deposit any money, and participation should be free for everyone.
Apart from having quality content, a sweepstake site must also have a good design. We value those casinos that offer modern websites and apps, providing users with intuitive navigation and fast loading times and letting them find and play their favorite games with ease.
While it is not necessary to deposit money to participate in sweepstakes, some participants may wish to make certain purchases that do not affect the likelihood of winning. In such cases, it’s crucial to have secure and fast payment methods for you as a consumer. This is something we at GambleUSA test and is a requirement we uphold
Since an increasing number of players prefer mobile devices for enjoying sweepstakes, a worthwhile sweepstakes site must be compatible with the latest iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. All top Maryland sweepstakes are excellent in this regard, offering mobile-friendly sites and free downloadable apps, allowing you to play wherever you are in Maryland.
Last but not least, we rated Maryland sweepstakes platforms based on how quickly and accurately they respond to players seeking to contact them. Whether you have a question about the rules of a sweepstake or need information about your participation status, you can reach the support teams of these platforms any time of day using live chat, email, phone, or other contact methods, ensuring you’re well-informed and assisted in Maryland.
WHEN WILL ONLINE CASINOS BECOME LEGAL IN MARYLAND?
As of now, there is no clear timeline for when online casinos might become legal in Maryland. However, Senate Bill 603, which is set to authorize the State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission to issue licenses to video lottery operators and qualified applicants to conduct Internet gaming operations in the State, will be put to a vote in November 2024, meaning that, if approved, legalization could come as early as 2025.
The issue of online gambling legalization is a topic of ongoing debate among lawmakers, with proponents arguing that it could generate significant revenue for the state and provide additional consumer protections for residents who already engage in online gambling through unregulated offshore sites.
However, it is impossible for us (and anyone) to predict the future, so we’ll just have to wait until November of this year in order to have a clearer idea of when online casinos could become legal in the Old Line State.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF GAMBLING IN MARYLAND
Gambling in Maryland dates back centuries, all the way to the early days of the colony, when lotteries were used as a means of raising funds for public projects, including the construction of roads, bridges, and public buildings. However, by the mid-19th century, concerns about corruption and fraud led to the banning of lotteries in the state.
Despite the ban on lotteries, gambling continued to thrive in Maryland through various forms, including horse racing and wagering on card games and other contests. In 1934, the state legalized horse racing, and the industry quickly became a significant part of Maryland’s gambling landscape. The opening of Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore and the establishment of the Preakness Stakes, one of the Triple Crown races, further cemented Maryland’s reputation as a hub for horse racing.
In the late 20th century, Maryland expanded its gambling offerings with the introduction of the state lottery in 1973. The lottery quickly became popular among residents, providing revenue for public education and other state programs. In the early 2000s, Maryland further expanded its gambling options with the legalization of slot machines at select locations, followed by the authorization of table games at casinos in 2012.
And more recently, particularly 2020, Maryland legalized sports betting both online and in-person. However, online casinos remain illegal in the state as of now, but with discussions about potential legalization ongoing, which is quite possible to achieve considering Maryland’s openness towards different gambling ramifications.
TOP LAND-BASED CASINOS IN MARYLAND
Despite not offering residents online casinos where they could play from the comfort of their home, Maryland is home to several casinos, which offer a variety of gaming options such as slot machines, table games, and poker rooms. So it is safe to say that the options for gaming within the state are plenty.
Therefore, we decided to create this shortlist where we mention what we believe are the top-5 casinos in Maryland that certainly make a visit to the Old Line State worth it:
- MGM National Harbor Hotel & Casino: 101 MGM National Ave, Oxon Hill, MD 20745. Website: https://mgmnationalharbor.mgmresorts.com/en.html
- Horseshoe Casino Baltimore: 1525 Russell St, Baltimore, MD 21230. Website: https://www.caesars.com/horseshoe-baltimore
- Ocean Downs: 10218 Racetrack Rd, Berlin, MD 21811. Website: https://www.oceandowns.com/
- Hollywood Casino Perryville: 1201 Chesapeake Overlook Pkwy, Perryville, MD 21903. Website: https://www.hollywoodcasinoperryville.com/
- Rocky Gap Casino, Resort & Golf: 16701 Lakeview Rd NE, Flintstone, MD 21530. Website: https://www.cnty.com/rocky-gap/
ARE SWEEPSTAKES AND SOCIAL CASINOS LEGAL IN MARYLAND?
While Maryland has not explicitly legalized or regulated these platforms, they also haven’t been expressly deemed illegal. This ambiguity allows sweepstakes and social casinos like WOW Vegas and Sweepslots to function, providing residents of the Old Line State with a way to enjoy casino-style games online without violating any state laws.
These platforms are not classified as gambling sites since users can access and use them for free. Upon registration with a social casino, players are instantly granted a specific quantity of tokens and “sweeps coins,” allowing them to engage in table games and online slot machines that closely resemble their counterparts in physical casinos, but without the risk of losing any money.
If you are a Maryland resident or visitor and are looking for some social casino fun, we encourage you to check the ones we tested and recommended at the beginning of this guide. These social casinos are the best alternatives due to their vast selection of games and very generous welcome bonuses and loyalty programs, so you should definitely check them out!
WHICH GAMES COULD YOU PLAY ON ONLINE SOCIAL CASINOS IN MARYLAND?
As long as there isn’t any money involved (meaning you play on social casinos), you could very well play pretty much any popular casino game there is while being in Maryland . The beauty of online sweepstake casinos is that you can play the games that are available at real-money online casinos even from states where online gambling is not yet legal.
Some of the games that Maryland residents/visitors can play on social casinos are:
- Slots: One of the most popular and entertaining casino games there is, slots offer immersive graphics and innovative features that can keep anyone hooked for hours. Besides, slots are extremely easy to play as they simply consist of clicking the “Spin” button, making them suitable for everyone.
- Blackjack: Another easy-to-play casino game, blackjack consists of beating the dealer to 21 without going bust, making it another very popular option for online players. Besides, it has the highest RTP percentage of any casino game, making it a must-play.
- Poker: A more complex yet equally popular card game you can play online, poker is an extremely fun way to spend your time at a social casino. Whether it is Omaha, Texas hold ’em, or any other poker variant, you’ll certainly find the opportunity to play at most Maryland Sweepstakes.
- Roulette: The classic game of roulette, considered the ultimate game of chance, is a popular offering at nearly every online casino in the United States, and of course, one you’ll find in every Maryland social casino.
- Live dealer games: These games are played through a live stream where you are able to see a professional dealer running the game in real time. Apart from all the standard table games like blackjack, roulette and poker, the live casino lobby also consists of game shows which combine the elements of gambling games and television shows, making it a very attractive option.
GAMBLING AGE IN MARYLAND
In Maryland, the legal gambling age varies depending on the type of gambling activity. For most forms of gambling, including casino gaming, poker, and betting on horse racing, the legal age is 21 years old. However, for participation in the state lottery, individuals must be at least 18 years old.
Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines and other penalties for both the individual and the establishment involved. Additionally, underage gambling is considered a serious offense in Maryland, and can have long-term legal consequences for those who commit it, including but not limited to prosecution and criminal charges.
THE FUTURE OF MARYLAND ONLINE GAMBLING
While not yet legal, the future of online casino gambling in Maryland looks bright with SB603 practically waiting to be approved in November of this year. One factor that may influence the future of online casinos in Maryland is the potential revenue they could generate for the state. With the increasing popularity of online gambling and the potential tax revenue it could bring, lawmakers may be more inclined to consider legalization.
However, the approval of SB603 is, of course, not guaranteed, meaning Maryland residents could still be several years away from enjoying the thrill of commercial casinos from the comfort of their home. There may be resistance from existing gambling interests, such as casinos and horse racing tracks, who could see online gambling as competition, so we can do no other than wait and see what happens.
MARYLAND RESPONSIBLE GAMING
Responsible gaming and gambling initiatives in Maryland are primarily overseen by the Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. This regulatory body is tasked with ensuring the integrity and fairness of all forms of legalized gambling within the state, including casinos, racetracks, and charitable gaming events.
It also collaborates with various stakeholders, including casino operators, problem gambling treatment providers, and advocacy groups, to develop programs and policies aimed at preventing and addressing problem gambling behaviors. These efforts include providing resources for individuals struggling with gambling addiction, promoting awareness of responsible gaming practices, and implementing measures to minimize the potential harms associated with gambling.
MARYLAND ONLINE CASINOS
Are online casinos legal in Maryland?
No, online casinos are not currently legal in Maryland.
Can I play at offshore online casinos in Maryland?
While some offshore online casinos may accept players from Maryland, it’s important to note that engaging in online gambling on offshore sites is technically illegal under Maryland law, which is why we highly recommend against it.
What forms of gambling are legal in Maryland?
Legal forms of gambling in Maryland include casinos, horse racing, off-track betting, sports betting and the state lottery. However, online casino gambling is not permitted.
What is the legal gambling age in Maryland?
The legal gambling age in Maryland is 21 for casino gambling and 18 for horse racing and lottery participation.
Are there plans to legalize online casinos in Maryland?
While no legislation has been passed to legalize online casino gambling yet, there’s SB603 waited to be voted on on November 2024, which could lead to online casinos legalization as early as 2025.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I legally gamble at brick-and-mortar casinos in Maryland?
Yes, there are several brick-and-mortar casinos operating legally in Maryland, offering various casino games such as slots, table games, and poker.
Is online sports betting legal in Maryland?
Yes, online sports betting became legal in Maryland in 2021 following the passage of legislation and a successful voter referendum.
Are there any penalties for illegal online gambling in Maryland?
Engaging in illegal online gambling activities in Maryland can result in legal consequences, including fines and potential criminal charges. It’s important to adhere to state gambling laws and only participate in legal forms of gambling.
If online casinos are not legal in Maryland, how come they keep popping up on Google?
While online casinos may appear in search engine results for Maryland residents, it’s important to note that their presence does not indicate legality. The reason they continue to surface on platforms like Google is primarily due to the nature of online advertising and the global accessibility of the internet. Many online casinos operate internationally and target users worldwide, including regions where online gambling is prohibited. Besides, there’s the possibility that the casino sites you see popping up are social casinos, which are legal in Maryland.