Casinos in Maryland
Maryland has rather strict gambling laws and doesn’t tolerate illegal gambling operators. Regulated forms of gambling available within the borders of the state include both on- and off-track horse race betting, casino gaming at the licensed gambling venues and a state-owned lottery. Land-based casinos offer slot machines and table games and are located all over the state, with two new resorts scheduled to open in 2014 and 2016. Nevertheless, Maryland doesn’t have a regulated online casino market, which means that local gambling enthusiasts don’t have any intrastate sites to play on.
Maryland Gambling Laws
Maryland Code – § 12-102 covers all the regulated forms of gambling as well as illegal gambling penalties. Violating the current regulations can result in a fine of up to $100, as well as a prison sentence of up to one year. Furthermore, it is worth pointing out that the situation in Maryland is more complicated than in the case of most other states, as many counties have their own regulations. Nevertheless, none of the existing laws are very clear when it comes to online gambling – the state has already cracked down on several online sports book operators, but no individual players have been prosecuted so far.
As mentioned above, Maryland doesn’t have its own, regulated casino sites, which means that local online gambling enthusiasts have to join offshore casino sites in order to pursue their hobby. Most of the US-facing sites located in Canada or Antigua have absolutely no qualms about accepting Maryland residents.
Maryland players can access some of the hottest games available on the web and compete for massive progressive jackpots generated by players from all over the world. If that wasn’t enough, offshore casino sites tend to offer exceptionally lucrative bonuses, which tend to be worth than the promotions available with the sites operating on the intrastate markets in Nevada or New Jersey.
Offshore Casino Sites That Accept Maryland Players
Most of the Maryland-friendly offshore sites tend to accept players from Europe and Asia as well, some of them operate exclusively on the North American market. Many of those amazing casinos are powered by the popular Real Time Gaming software, which means that they offer dozens of amazing slots, table games, and video poker variants. In addition, best sites like Bovada provide their customers with a chance to play the games designed by third-party developers, such as the amazing three-dimensional slots from BetSoft Gaming.
Keep in mind that playing at offshore sites has its shortcomings, particularly when it comes to banking. Most US-facing sites don’t support popular payment methods such as Neteller or Skrill, which means that Maryland players are pretty much forced to deposit via credit card or a Western Union/MoneyGram money order. If that wasn’t enough, the available cash out options are also very limited. In most cases, you’ll be allowed to choose between a wire transfer and a check by courier, but if you’ve already funded your account via a money order, you might be allowed to withdraw using the same method.
Developing Legal Scenarios
In late 2013, the director of Maryland state lottery Stephen Martino revealed that the state legislators are rather impressed with how online gambling legislation progresses in the other states that have well-developed gambling industry. Consequently, it is more than likely for Maryland to join Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey as one of the states that have regulated online casino gambling, but the final decision seems to depend on how similar regulations are going to turn out in the other casino-friendly states.