The game of poker is one that is enjoyed across the globe, but in the United States, players find game play can be limited. In some states, poker is celebrated and allowed in homes, casinos and poker rooms. In others, poker is illegal and cannot be played on any level, except for fun. In Maryland, poker is not allowed to take place at home when real money is involved. That could soon change however, thanks to new legislation introduced within the state.
Two Democrats have now introduced a bill in the House and Senate for consideration involving home poker games. Senator Nancy King introduced Senate Bill 184 while House Bill 59 was introduced by Delegate Kirill Reznik. The proposals would allow a player to host a home game for real money wagering when a game of chance or skill is involved. The home game could not take place if an electronic device is used to connect online for wagering.
Currently, anyone who hosts a home poker game is subject to a maximum fine of $1,000 and time in jail. This is not strictly enforced but does exist. If the legislation is passed, players would not have to worry about the possibility of facing such punishments for hosting gaming for real money.
The new bill also states that a home game cannot benefit the host in any way financially. This can only be with the winnings accrued by taking part in the game. With the bill, more than 12 lawmakers have decided to become sponsors. Each bill are scheduled for hearings for February. If the bill is passed, the change could go into effect as soon as October, so players could successfully host games without repercussions in just a few months. The legislators are trying to move the bill along quickly for the sake of players within the state.