Maryland's Gamblers' Paradise: Navigating the World of Gambling in the Old Line State

Eye On Annapolis

No other land is full of ‘merry’ people than Maryland. Science has it that gambling releases feel-good hormones, that’s why Marylanders are surely elated when gambling. Hence, there’s no doubt why people in this state spend more money in gambling than on gas.

Surprisingly, gambling in Maryland is not totally legal even after the state’s laws were changed. In 2023 gambling was regulated by the Maryland Gaming Commission, making it legal in the state. However, online casinoswere left out of the legislation. Nevertheless, Marylanders still enjoy gambling in both online platforms and land-based establishments. 

With that, this article will dive deeper in the gambling industry of Maryland  to assist you in selecting the best choice from the extensive range of options available. If you want to dive deeper into the current gambling laws, as well as the history of gambling you can go to Consider this your comprehensive guide to enhance your gambling experience, whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned player.

Maryland Gambling Law

Long ago, gambling was perceived to be a crime in Maryland. But the Maryland General Assembly decriminalized gambling through passing a legislation. Thus, gambling has now become a civil offense only. However, illegal gambling operation is still considered a crime and it is punishable by the law through fines or prison sentence.

Presently, gambling is now legal in Maryland. New laws allowed gambling on bingos, casinos, horse races, lottery, raffles, and sports betting. However, for a game to be considered legal, it must be approved by the Lottery and Gaming Control Commission. So if you’re new to gambling, it is important to be familiar with the gambling laws of Maryland.

Gambling Games in Maryland

  1. Bingo

Bingo is the most common gambling game that everyone finds exciting. In Maryland, bingo has been popularized when some churches hold bingo nights regularly. Today, the state has a lot of bingo halls where you could play the game, but you can find the most popular one in Baltimore, Maryland.

Also, Bingo is the most basic game of chance, as it only requires marking the number being called. However, it is important to note that one should follow the specific pattern provided by the bingo caller in order to win. Moreover, this game could also be played even at the comfort of your home as it has an online version already that is more practical and accessible. Nevertheless, both options are still fun to play with.

  1. Blackjack

Blackjack is the most popular card game that every American casino has, and Maryland’s casinos are no exemption. Hence, no one would doubt why it is also famous across the old line state. 

Basically, this game simply requires you to beat the dealer by having a higher hand value than the dealer’s, provided you will not exceed 21. With that, learning a strategy is a must in order to win. For instance, starting with small bets is advisable especially if you’re a beginner. Besides, familiarizing the type of blackjack is also necessary for starters too. 

  1. Craps

Craps is surely the gambling game that most gamblers find enjoying. It is a dice game that requires the players to bet on what would be the outcome. This game is popular in Maryland because it is a fast-paced game, and it is actually found in almost all of the casinos in Maryland. Also, most of these casinos host a craps tournament that has competitive payouts, so never hesitate to flaunt your betting skill by considering joining one.

  1. Lottery

Lottery is the most popular gambling activity not only in the state but also universally. Some of the famous options include Powerball, Mega Millions, Multi-scratch, and Scratch Cards. But Scratch Cards is the most popular among these because it offers the highest chance of winning. No wonder why Marylanders enjoy them. 

Also, a little-known fact about the lottery that originated in Maryland is that during the early 1996 when The Big Game now known as Mega Millions was launched. Marylanders were the strongest supporters of it, and when it changed its name after eight years, the first which introduced it to the public was the Maryland State Lottery. Soon, in 2005, the lucky one who won the largest jacket ($656 million) in lottery history was a Marylander, and that boosted the demand and popularity of the game in the state.

  1. Poker

Poker is certainly one of the most popular card games in every casino in Maryland, and the state is also a home of famous poker players too. In fact, the demand for this game is very high because even before the first Poker room was opened in the state in 2013, Marylanders travel to their neighboring countries just to play Poker. However, since 2013 when the casinos started having Poker rooms, the game became even more popular among Marylanders especially when a lot of casinos are hosting tournaments for it.

Meanwhile, the mechanics of this game are just simple, wherein the player just needs to call or raise a bet, and/or concede. However, despite how simple it may seem, it still requires both luck and skill when betting. Thus, it is no wonder why it is often referred to as a mental game that requires strategy and psychology.

  1. Video Poker

As the name suggests, video poker is a computerized poker with competitive payouts that anyone could give a try to, especially if you’re interested in testing your skills. A little fun fact about this type of poker is that it actually became the basis of the successful online casino software developers like Playtech.

While video poker can be played traditionally at casinos, many claim that it is best playing it online. In fact, there are also video poker tournaments that are already being held online.

  1. Roulette

Roulette is the game of luck that every Marylanders will never miss. It involves betting in black or red numbered compartments. But expert gamblers claim that this game just requires the right trick to win. If you are curious about that, trying one trick won’t hurt.

Also, Roulette has a variety of types such as European, American, French, Mini, Multi-Wheel, Multi-ball, Double Ball, Progressive Jackpot, and 3D and Virtual. The differences among these can be seen here. But American roulette is the most popular of all because it allows the player to have a five-number bet.  However, it is said that European roulette is everyone’s favorite because it offers the best gaming conditions. Nevertheless, both of which can be found at the casinos of Maryland.

  1. Slots

Slot machines are a must in every casino. They offer a game of chance that Marylanders love playing every time they drop by at a casino. Besides, slot machines are easier to play than any other casino games, which makes it accessible to many players whether they are a veteran or a starter. Thus, there is no doubt why this game is popular in Maryland. Moreover, just like any other casino games, slots have an online version already where they could be played even with just a smartphone, making them even more popular too.

  1. Sports Betting

If the above-cited games do not interest you, sports betting might be for you. Fortunately, sports betting both online and in-person are now legal in Maryland. Specifically, it only became legal in November 2020 when the Marylander consented for its legalization. One of the reasons for this lies on the economic impact of sports gambling, primarily it was said that this will bring an estimated $18 million monthly revenue in the state. Surely, sports betting is just solely a gambling after all, but serves as a significant state’s source of revenue.

Meanwhile the sports which you could bet on include basketball, football, and even Jousting, a medieval sport of the state, and many others. But whatever sports you prefer, you could opt to watch and bet live, or enjoy these behind a huge screen in some casinos in Maryland. You could also choose to bet at the comfort of your home as these two are also legal online.

  1. Horse Race Betting

As a home of the Thoroughbred horse racing champions, Maryland flaunts its rich history through its horse race that is still popular until today. So, if you’re not into sports, betting on the cultural heritage of Maryland could be your alternative option. Not to mention that you get to witness the state’s tradition while watching and betting. In other words, horse race betting combines cultural preservation, entertainment, and gambling in one.

Online Gambling in Maryland

Online gambling is not yet fully legal in Maryland because of a variety of reasons. But tracing back its history is better to understand why online gambling is restricted in the state. Nevertheless, several forms of gambling such as sportsbook and racebook betting are already considered legal. 

Final Thought: Gambling in Maryland

The gambling industry in Maryland is certainly progressing. While the law restricts online gambling in the state, people still opt to access through illegal sites. This, in turn, implies a higher demand for online gambling. Thus, it is not possible for the other online forms of online gambling to be legalized especially when online sports and race betting have now come into legislation. Nevertheless, at this present time, Maryland has it all —slot machines, table and card games, betting games are just some to name a few. Above all, it remains to be gambler-friendly.