Gambling Laws in Maryland
Maryland’s gambling revival has been a long time coming. For the most part of the last century, only pari-mutuel horse betting at two racetracks, lotteries, charity games and a limited number of slot machines were approved in the state. It wasn’t until 2012 that table games were allowed in the state, which then resulted in a boom in the construction of casinos. In 2017, betting on DFS was legalized, starting a conversation on the potential for online gambling in the state. After the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) laws were repealed by the Supreme Court in 2018, it allowed lawmakers in Maryland to begin taking action on legalizing expanded sports betting. Unfortunately, efforts for the year were unsuccessful, and for the time being it appears Maryland may be left behind in comparison to neighboring states.
- We use trusted sources such as: Prince George’s Sentinel and The Baltimore Sun to stay on top of all industry related news and developments.
- We aren’t just experts in sports betting, we have dedicated teams across the gambling industry including for casino games such as blackjack and have created an online video poker guide.
- We keep on top of any changes to the law by closely following the movements of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency and the Government of Maryland.
Most Popular Sports in Maryland
Maryland has a rich history with sports and its residents are known for being huge supporters of games such as Lacrosse – the official state sport – to Extreme Mountain Biking. Maryland is home to not just one but two National Football League teams, one Major League Baseball teams and nine NCAA Division college teams. Not only this, but the state has a deep love with horse racing and equestrian sports. With American sporting legends like baseball’s Babe Ruth and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps all hailing from ‘The Free State’, it’s plain to see that Marylanders have sporting in their blood.
Football – Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens began in 1996 and in their relatively short time as a team, have lead a truly impressive streak of wins of victories. Having qualified for the NFL playoffs 11 times since 2000, the Ravens also hold two Super Bowl titles – winning both Super Bowl appearances they have played. This makes them the only team in the league to win every one of their Super Bowl games. The Ravens currently play at the M&T Bank Stadium, and past star players include Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
Baseball – Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles, or ‘The O’s’ as their supporters call them, are one of the oldest MBL teams in the league. Beginning in 1901, the team have become a national icon and continue to inspire Baltimore residents every season. Although their most successful years were between the 1960’s-1980’s, the O’s are still well-loved by their supporters and draw in notable players from across the country. They play at the Oriole Ballpark, and count Cal Ripken, Jr. and Brooks Robinson as former star players.
Soccer – Baltimore Blast
The Baltimore Blast are an indoor soccer team that plays in the Major Arena Soccer League, which represents the highest level of professional indoor soccer in the world. Formed in 1993, the Blast have gone on to win 9 championships and earned a reputation for a force to be reckoned with in the MASL. With their homeground at the 3500+ capacity SECU Arena, the team draw in strong crowds who cheer them on through victory or defeat.
Horse racing in Maryland is one of the longest state traditions. Its still standing Pimlico Race Course, opened in 1870, is even the second oldest track in the US! While other states were banning wagering on horse racing, Maryland was one of two states to keep it legal. Maryland hosts the Preakness race, the second jewel of what they call thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. Since casino-style gambling has been allowed at racetracks since 2008, hopes for the once waning horse tracks of Maryland are continuing to rise.
History of Sports Betting in Maryland
Maryland has had a long history of sports betting when it comes to wagering on horse racing, but outside of that, there has been little progress in the state’s sports betting laws. While other forms of gambling have been slowly legalized and regulated, it looks as though it may be some time before proper expanded sports betting is allowed. Below is a timeline of events related to the Maryland sports betting in gambling. For more information, see the Maryland gambling page.
|1791||Charity lotteries for churches become the first legalized form of gambling in Maryland.|
|1920||An oversight Racing Board is formed to regulate horse racing for the state’s two racetracks.|
|1943||Counties are given control over slot machine licensing, leading to a boom in slot machines across the state.|
|1973||The lottery begins in Maryland. Over the next four decades, it will bring in over $15 billion in state revenue.|
|2008||Residents vote to approve the installation of video lottery terminals in some race tracks.|
|2012||A referendum passes legalizing casino table games which leads to the construction of casinos and expansion of some racetracks.|
|2017||Marylanders vote to legalize and regulate online Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) gambling.|
|2019||A bill that is written to legalize and regulate expanded sports betting is shot down and talks of legalized sports betting in the state are tabled until 2020.|
Legal Online Sports Betting Age in Maryland
For both online pari-mutuel and DFS sports betting in Maryland, residents have to be over the age of 18 to participate. Gambling on other sports online or in person is illegal. Until recently, only casinos would be punished with either a loss of license or a $5,000 if underage gamblers were caught on their premises, but now a first time offense will cost an underage gambler $100, a second offense will result in a $500 fine and a third offense brings a $1,000 fine and compulsory enrolment in a problem gambling treatment program.
Sports Betting AgeThe minimum sports betting age in Maryland for horse racing is 18 years old.
Alcohol AgeThe minimum drinking age in Maryland is 21 years old.
Weed AgeThe consumption and possession of cannabis for recreational use in Maryland is still illegal.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal Outside of Maryland?
While sports betting is slowly being legalized across states in the US, the complete legalization of online sports betting has some ways to go not just in the illegal states but the legal ones too. While Maryland is bordered by New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware three of the eight legal sports betting states in the US, Pennsylvania is still yet to launch it’s online sports betting and in Delaware sports betting is still limited to land-based booking agents. If Maryland fails to make a move on the issue soon, it stands to lose millions in lost revenue to not only Pennsylvania and Delaware but its close neighbor Washington D.C., who has also recently passed yet-to-be-enacted legislation legalizing sports betting.
Taxes on Your Winnings: Do You Have to Pay Anything?
Federal law states that gambling winnings are fully taxable at a rate of 25% if you have won $600 or more if the amount is 300 times the wager, $1,200 or more from bingo or slot machines, $1,500 or more from keno and over $5,000 from a poker tournament. if your winnings total more than $5,000. On a local level, if you have won more than $5,000, your winnings are subject to a tax of 8.75 percent for a resident’s winnings and 7% for a nonresident. For more info, visit the website of the IRS and the Maryland Taxes website.
Upcoming Regulation Changes in Maryland Sports Betting Law
For the next year at least, there are no foreseeable changes on the way for Maryland’s sports betting laws. Despite this, many lawmakers understand that if action doesn’t get taken on the matter soon, then they face millions in potential revenue losses every year due to residents gambling in neighboring states rather than at home. There is no denying that the U.S. is evolving on the issue of sports betting and online gambling, and in Maryland, it isn’t a question of ‘if’ sports betting will be legalized but ‘when’.
“Everybody’s got a head start: Las Vegas, New Jersey . . . it’s very unfortunate..”– Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.