Maryland Casino Guide
Facts About Gambling & Online Casinos in Maryland
There are six legal casinos in Maryland. The state uses a portion of the revenues from casino games for the Maryland Education Trust Fund. In addition to these land-based casinos, there are also a number of online casinos in Maryland where you can play for fun, and even more from overseas operators that people can play in.
History of Gambling in Maryland
Maryland originally legalized slots in 1947 in specific counties. When the U.S. Congress banned slot machine delivery unless the state receiving those slots received an exemption from the federal government, Maryland opted not to try to get the exemption. This led to a manufacturer of slot machines moving out of the state. In the late 1950s, slots were banned in any facility that was not land-based and two years later, steps were taken to limit the number of slot machines in facilities that were allowed to have them. In 1963, Maryland voted to get rid of slot machines completely by 1968. While some pushed to keep them legal, measures failed and slots left the state. To make up for the loss of income, focus shifted to the legalization of the state lottery.
All of that changed in 2008 when voters in Maryland said yes to allowing video lottery terminals, such as video slot machines, in five establishments. Four years later, voters also opted to allow table games in the five casinos and even allowed a sixth establishment in Prince George’s County to open its doors and offer casino games.
Age Restrictions for Gambling in Maryland
To play in a Maryland casino or one of Maryland’s online casinos, you must be at least 21 years of age.
Maryland’s Casino Gambling Outlook
Clearly with a sixth casino soon to open, Maryland is embracing the profits casinos are delivering. The Baltimore Business Journal reported that the five current casinos in Maryland brought in almost $89 million in April 2015, so the state is clearly doing well.
Whether or not residents will ever see online casinos in Maryland that allow real money play has yet to be determined. In May of 2015, four of Maryland’s casinos were charged with allowing underage gambling. These four casinos must now address the issue with underage gambling and set up protocol to ensure it doesn’t happen again. For now, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission are focusing their efforts on this problem and unlikely to consider allowing online casinos where players can make real-money wagers.
Hollywood Casino Perryville: Approximately 40 miles from Baltimore, Hollywood Casino Perryville is also close to the Delaware border. There are more than 1,000 video slots and table games that include Blackjack, Roulette, and Seven Card Stud.
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore: Horseshoe Casino is in the heart of Baltimore, just a few blocks from M&T Bank Stadium. Game options include more than 2,200 slot machines, 153 table games, and over 150 video poker machines.
Maryland Live: Offering both slots and table games, Maryland Live is in an ideal spot for those who want to shop by day and enjoy casino games by night. The Hanover, Maryland, Casino is adjacent to Arundel Mills where there are dozens of shops and restaurants.
Ocean Downs Racetrack: This coastal casino is about five miles from Ocean City. In addition to both simulcast and live racing, the establishment has more than 800 slot machines and a couple of on-site restaurants.
Rocky Gap Casino Resort: The Pennsylvania border is pretty close to Rocky Gap. This lakeside casino is located in Rocky Gap State Park and features a golf course, more than 550 video slots, and a handful of table games.
In addition, a casino in Prince George’s County is slated to open in 2016. When this referendum passed, it was decided that the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore needed to be open for two years before the newest casino, MGM National Harbor, could open its doors.