Nestled among the rolling hills of Western Maryland, Rocky Gap Casino has slots, table games and lottery games such as Keno and Powerball. This gorgeous resort and casino is located on the banks of Lake Habeen in Cumberland and also features a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, full-service spa and three delicious dining options. Casino & Hotel Maryland has committed to serve as a transformative development that will create maximum community benefits to Maryland and its residents. Stay Where You Play! Hotel, recognized as the only AAA Four Diamond rated accommodation in the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport district, sets a new standard.
Does Maryland have casinos? Is online and social gambling legal in Maryland? Understand Maryland’s gambling history and current laws before playing. Are there any casinos in Maryland? What are the MD gambling laws? Read all you need to know before you gamble at the best casino resorts in Maryland.
For many years, Nevada was the only place in the US to play a slot machine. The one-armed bandit has been synonymous with the state for decades.
However, for 21 years, from 1947 to 1968, Americans could find legal slot play in Maryland too.
In terms of significance, this fact makes Maryland one of the only states to ban gambling, then bring it back.
This history likely set the stage for Maryland’s moderate but passionate reintroduction back into the world of slot machines and table games.
The state has also become a pro-sports betting state. Voters overwhelmingly voted yes on Question 2 to legalize Maryland sports wagering during the state’s November 2020 election.
Sweepstakes casinos in Maryland
Social casino options
Marylanders have all of the typical options for social gaming. Double Down, Big Fish, Slotomania, Zynga, and MyVegas are all available through Facebook or mobile devices. Interestingly, the Hollywood Casino in Perryville does not feature its own social casino option. This is unusual for casinos branded by Hollywood.
Marylanders may want to pay slightly more attention to MyVegas than other states because of its proximity to Borgata in New Jersey. Although it’s not walking distance, Borgata is a short trip from Maryland and does have options for redemption through the MyVegas site. Maryland residents might do well to investigate the slot options on MyVegas.
Maryland sports betting
Just after the calendar flipped to 2020, Sen. Chris West pre-filed SB 58, which would allow horse tracks and casinos to offer regulated Maryland sports betting.
Fast forward to November 2020, when a large majority of voters voted yes on statewide ballot measure Question 2, finally legalizing Maryland sports betting.
Online Gambling In Maryland Legal
Whether that will include online sports betting is still unclear. Lawmakers will likely convene in 2021 to hammer out the details.
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Like many states, Maryland does not have a strict law for or against playing games of chance online. However, the state is rather restrictive when it comes to funding those games. Many banks and other financial institutions are closely monitored for any kind of interactions with gambling websites or operators.
The bright spot is that there are three nearby states (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) that either have or are about to have online gambling. It is certain that the Maryland Legislature will be monitoring those states’ successes closely. It is also possible that Maryland could decide to get in on the online game in the near future. Below is a table of likely operators based upon the companies that already have a foothold in the state.
Likely online gambling operators
|Operator||Properties Owned/Managed in MD|
|Caesars Entertainment||Horseshoe Casino Baltimore|
|Gaming and Leisure Properties||Hollywood Casino Perryville|
|Golden Entertainment||Rocky Gap Casino Resort|
|MGM Resorts International||MGM National Harbor|
|Saratoga Casino Holdings||Ocean Downs|
|The Cordish Companies||Maryland Live! Casino|
State casino operator history
In 1947, four counties in southern Maryland ignored a veto from Maryland’s governor at the time and installed 9,300 gaming machines in their counties. These counties raked in millions of dollars each year. It was estimated to be over $24 million in 1963 alone, and the scene was so hot that it became the main tourist attraction for the area.
However, all good things must come to an end, and in 1968 Maryland outlawed the slot machines. But the fire for gambling in Maryland continued to smolder. In 2008, residents approved a constitutional amendment to allow slot machines in five specific state locations.
Things went well, and in 2012 voters elected to expand the allowed games to include table games at the five casinos. They also voted to extend the operating hours at the casinos and to authorize a sixth casino. The six casinos are in six different Maryland locales – Anne Arundel, BaltimoreCity, CecilCounty, AlleganyCounty, WorcesterCounty, and Prince George’s County. The sixth casino, MGM National Harbor, just opened last December.
So far, the appeal of these facilities is strong and on the rise. Total revenue for February 2017 alone was over $128 million. The addition of the sixth property is certainly contributing to that figure. MGM National Harbor made $48.8 million in revenue in its first month of operation and its effect on the overall take has been a net positive for the state.
All of this has occurred since 2010, when Hollywood Casino Perryville opened its doors. By the standards of the rest of the state’s casinos, it is a rather modest property. There are 850 slots, 20 table games, and an off-track betting facility (there is no poker room). Yet, four years later, the profile of the state’s gaming industry expanded fivefold – four more casinos opened their doors by August 2014.
The largest of these casinos (and still the largest – MGM National Harbor could only take second place) is Maryland Live! Casino. This massive casino offers its patrons almost 4,000 slot machines, over 200 table games, and a gigantic poker room with 52 tables. There are eight restaurants for patrons to dine, a posh hotel with 310 rooms and 52 suites to reserve, and a 1500-seat entertainment venue. This casino is enough to warrant a stop on the World Poker Tour each year, despite the casino only having been open since June 2012.
Location, location, location
Sports Gambling In Maryland
Maryland Live! and the five other Maryland properties are finding such success because of the tremendous location they enjoy. Maryland is a fairly populous, but small state, which means it is close to many surrounding areas in addition to its own cities and localities. For instance, Maryland Live! is a 15-minute drive from downtown Baltimore and also only a 50-minute drive from Washington D.C.
It is also less than a two-hour drive from both Philadelphia and Dover, Delaware. These two cities have their own options to be sure, but Maryland casinos are close enough to draw from those areas for a change of pace or special events (like the aforementioned WPT). All in all, the future looks bright for Maryland casinos, because even with the saturation of the northeastern casino market, Maryland enjoys a roughly central location from many parts of this area of the country.
|Property||Location||Number of Slots||Number of Table Games||Number of Poker Tables|
|Maryland Live! Casino||Hanover||3,941||209||52|
|MGM National Harbor||Oxon Hill||3,212||165||39|
|Horseshoe Casino Baltimore||Baltimore||2,186||179||25|
|Hollywood Casino Perryville||Perryville||850||20||n/a|
|Rocky Gap Casino Resort||Flintstone||662||17||n/a|
State legal environment
|Permitted/Offered?||Notes & Restrictions|
|Lottery||Yes||State and multi-state drawings|
|Charitable or House-based Gambling||Yes|
|Minimum Gambling Age||21|
Poker Gambling In Maryland
This is a list of casinos in Maryland.
List of casinos
|Rocky Gap Casino Resort||May 22, 2013||Flintstone||631||18||$46,082,330.36||Built on the grounds of Rocky Gap State Park. First proposal was rejected due to failure by the developer to pay licensing fees. The Maryland Lottery subsequently lowered the casino tax rate for this location and allowed a second round of bids for new proposals, however, no developers submitted any bids. During the third round of bids, three developers submitted bids and licensing fees, two of which were rejected. The license went to the remaining developer and was awarded in late April 2012. Construction began after receiving approval by the Board of Public Works. The developer bought the entire existing resort in addition to building the casino. |
|Horseshoe Casino Baltimore||August 26, 2014||Baltimore||2,202||178||$289,452,530.23|
|Hollywood Casino Perryville||September 17, 2010||Perryville||850||22||$77,269,240.74||The first casino to open in the state.|
|Live! Casino & Hotel||June 6, 2012||Hanover||3,994||206||$629,732,519.82||The first phase, with 3,200 slot machines and electronic table games, opened on June 6, 2012. Phase II, with 1,550 additional machines, opened in September 2012. Traditional live table games began operation on April 11, 2013. A two-story Poker Room opened on August 28, 2013.|
|Ocean Downs||January 4, 2011||Berlin||800||0||$55,889,525.90||The casino opened in 2011, complementing a facility which already featured live horse racing.|
|MGM National Harbor||December 8, 2016||Oxon Hill||3,139||165||$49,944,074 (April '17)||On December 20, 2013, MGM Resorts International was awarded the license to construct a $925 million casino resort in National Harbor. The figure subsequently went up to an approved $1.2 billion.|
Expansion of table games
Governor Martin O'Malley promised to look to expand Maryland's array of gambling in the 2012 legislative session. On February 7, 2012, Senator Douglas JJ Peters introduced legislation in the Maryland State Senate that would legalize an additional casino in Prince George's County. His legislation would legalize a certain number of slot machines and table games in Prince George's as well as table games for the other two open and three yet-to-open casinos in Maryland. The legislation would set aside 2.5% of the Prince George's County casino revenue for an economic development fund and an additional 2.5% of revenue to fund the construction of a new hospital in the County. Such legislation must be approved by the House of Delegates, Senate, Governor, statewide voter referendum, and county-wide voter referendum. At the time, there was speculation that a casino license in Prince George's County would be awarded to a company that plans to build it at either National Harbor or Rosecroft Raceway. While this proposal failed during the regular 2012 legislative session, Governor O'Malley championed a special session in July of that year to address the issue of gambling expansion, which passed in the Maryland legislature. The casino legislation required it to pass a Maryland referendum in November. On November 6, 2012, the casino referendum passed, allowing table games at the existing authorized casinos and allowing a sixth casino to be built in Prince George's County. On December 20, 2013, the Prince George's County casino license was awarded to MGM Resorts International for a casino resort, which opened on December 8, 2016, at National Harbor.
Sports Gambling In Maryland
- ^'Strike one: Rocky Gap slots proposal rejected'. Cumberland Times-News. 28 September 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- ^Haber, Gary (13 January 2012). 'Md. slots commission rejects Landow's Rocky Gap bid'. Baltimore Business Journal. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- ^Dresser, Michael; Cho, Hanah (26 April 2012). 'Rocky Gap casino license awarded'. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- ^Kilar, Steve (3 June 2012). 'With new casino opening, a look back at Cordish's gambling record'. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- ^Rector, Kevin. 'MGM chosen for Prince George's casino license'. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
- ^Associated Press (6 February 2012). 'Bill would OK table games and casino site in P.G. Co'. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- ^Wagner, John (21 May 2012). '2nd Md. special session could be week of July 9'. The Washington Post. Retrieved 8 June 2012. On November 6, 2012, Question 7 has voted legalizing table games
Gambling Casinos In Maryland
- Media related to Casinos in Maryland at Wikimedia Commons