Though Maryland has historically dragged its feet when it comes to gambling expansion, the last couple of years have seen big strides in various legal gambling industries. For example, Maryland now allows legal sports wagering, legal casino games, legal daily fantasy sports, and even horse race wagering.
However, the online wagering industry is still underdeveloped in Maryland. You won’t be able to find any legal online casinos or poker sites. But you can find a variety of high-quality retail casinos. Let’s take a closer look at the retail casino scene in this historic state so you know where to spend your money the next time you visit.
Is Gambling And Sports Betting Legal In Maryland?
Yes, and no. At this time, there are no legal online casinos or poker sites available to Maryland residents. However, online sports wagering was recently legalized. The industry hasn’t fully launched yet, but a wide range of online sports betting operators like DraftKings and FanDuel are already pursuing licensure, either through partnering with retail casinos or through pursuing online-only operations.
The recent legalization of online sports wagering bodes well for any future online casino industry. Gov. Larry Hogan signed off on HB 940, the law that fully legalizes online sports wagering in Maryland. This means the launch of Maryland sports betting is close.
Furthermore, the Maryland General Assembly (the organization that led the charge for legal online sports betting) has also heard proposals from various Maryland lawmakers suggesting expansions to online casino and poker operations.
While there isn’t any concrete news as of yet, odds are good that online casino and poker games may become available over the next couple of years. It likely all depends on how much revenue the future legal online sports wagering industry brings in. If it does well, the state government may well decide to expand online gambling options to enjoy even more gambling-related revenue.
Hollywood Casino Perryville
This expansive casino features 75,000 ft.² of gaming space and is open from 8 AM to 2 AM every day. Here, you’ll find 1500 video slot machines, a 150 seat buffet, a grill restaurant, and a gift shop. It also includes 1600 parking spaces. They also have a partnership with Barstool Sportsbook to offer a retail sportsbook inside the casino.
Horseshoe Baltimore Casino
Baltimore is host to the Horseshoe Casino, which includes 122,000 ft.² of gaming space and 20,000 ft.² of food and beverage outlets. 2200 slot machines are available in total, including 150 video poker machines and a dedicated high limit area with up to $500 slots. Table games in a World Series of Poker room round out the game offerings, but you’ll also find a variety of restaurants for any eating desire. Caesars partnered with the casino to offer a retail sportsbook.
Live! Casino Hotel Maryland
At the Live! Casino and Hotel, you’ll find 200 game tables and 4000 slot machines, plus 2 high-limit rooms for optimistic gamblers. You will also find a FanDuel sportsbook. A selection of restaurants ranging from a buffet to a seafood restaurant provide eating options for all visitors. Also included is a live entertainment venue with 75,000 ft.² of space and a luxury hotel with 310 rooms, 17 floors, and a spa.
MGM National Harbor
MGM’s National Harbor casino complex opened in December 2016 and offers 2800 slot games ranging from regular reel games to video poker to progressive jackpots slots. Of course, they partnered with BetMGM to offer a retail sportsbook as well. It also includes a dedicated high-limit room, a poker room, and a wide range of restaurants. The casino offers a 1200-seat theater for live entertainment events, plus a 300-suite hotel and a marketplace of luxury retail stores filled with high-end brands.
Located near Ocean City, Ocean Downs is one of the oldest casinos, opening back in 1949. It underwent a $45-million remodeling project in 2010. Not only does it offer a casino complete with slots and table games, Ocean Downs is also home to a horse-racing track and a TwinSpires retail sportsbook. Ocean Downs Casino is open from 8am to 2am daily and some tasty restaurant options.
Rocky Gap Casino
The Rocky Gap Casino is a 2 Hour Dr. from Baltimore and offers 550 slot machines, 10 table games, and a variety of lottery game stations. Also included are a lakeside restaurant, a bar and grill, a pastry place, and one final eatery where you can find burgers and steaks. The casino is further improved with a 200-room hotel and a garden spa with a full range of services, like massages and body treatments.
Live Sports Betting In Maryland
Maryland residents won’t just be able to place sports wagers through online platforms. They’ll also be able to enjoy sports wagering through retail locations. Maryland HB 940 initially called for 37 mobile and retail sports wagering licenses for issuing, but this number was updated to 60 mobile licenses and 50 retail licenses.
While it’s unlikely you’ll find over 100 different sports betting operators in Maryland anytime soon, this does go to show that each of the retail casinos above will likely have a sportsbook up and running in no time.
Specifically, retail and mobile sportsbook licenses are divided into two classes:
- Class A licenses are reserved for the casinos in Maryland and other exclusive sports arenas or wagering sites
- Class B licenses are reserved for non-sports related companies and locations, such as racecourses, state fairs, or bingo parlors
There haven’t been any official announcements about which sportsbooks are likely to launch in retail locations alongside their mobile platforms. But we can make a few educated guesses.
For example, Caesars Entertainment is already operating in the state, as is MGM Resorts International. Both of these companies have online sportsbooks, so it’s likely they’ll open retail versions of their online platforms in their home casinos.
Furthermore, operators like DraftKings and FanDuel currently provide DFS or daily fantasy sports to Maryland residents. It would be quick and easy for both of these operators to expand their mobile app offerings to include sports wagering (as the DFS app is based on the same broader gambling app platform).
All told, we’re likely to hear more news about license recipients and applicants over the next few months.
Maryland Gambling FAQs
21, which is the same age you’ll need to be to place a sports wager or enjoy any other gambling activity.
The Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency currently regulates most gambling activities in Maryland, although the Maryland Racing Commission is strictly responsible for regulating horse races and associated wagers.
The casinos in Maryland are all owned by commercial enterprises like Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, and so on. There are no Native American tribal casinos at this time.
Yes, but only to provide daily fantasy sports. But DraftKings is likely to pursue licensure ASAP once regulatory requirements are fully nailed down.
It’s legal to offer DFS only. FanDuel will probably provide sports wagering shortly after the industry fully launches, or even on opening day.