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Maryland Poker Laws: Everything You Need to Know

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Maryland poker laws are pretty straightforward to understand. Maryland is one of the many states that have legalized casino gambling and allows residents to play poker at licensed casinos.

However, Maryland also has a few restrictions regarding playing poker online.

Maryland’s online poker laws are similar to those in other states that have legalized online gambling. For example, players must be 21 years of age or older to play online poker.

In addition, Maryland requires that all online poker sites be licensed and regulated by the state. However, despite these restrictions, Maryland residents can still enjoy playing online poker at various locations.

Where to Play Online Poker in Maryland

In Maryland, online poker is only legal if you play at a licensed and regulated offshore poker site. There are no state-regulated online poker sites in Maryland, nor does the state offer any intrastate online poker options.

This means that if you want to play online poker in Maryland, you’ll need to find an offshore poker site that welcomes players from the US.

If you’re looking to play online poker in Maryland, we recommend checking out some of the best online poker sites that welcome players from the US. These sites offer a great selection of games and some of the best bonuses and promotions in the industry. Plus, they’re all fully licensed and regulated, so you can rest assured that your money is always safe and secure.

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Is Online Gambling Illegal In Maryland?

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Maryland’s gambling laws are relatively permissive, which has led to the state being home to several large casinos and racetracks. However, the state’s laws regarding online gambling are much more restrictive.

Maryland explicitly bans online gambling, making it a felony to gamble online within the state’s borders.

The only exception to this rule is for fantasy sports, which are specifically exempted from the state’s gambling laws. Consequently, all forms of online gambling, including online poker, are currently illegal in Maryland.

This may change in the future, as Maryland lawmakers have shown an openness to expanding gambling in recent years. However, for the time being, Maryland residents who wish to gamble online need to do so from outside the state’s borders.

Maryland Poker and Gambling Laws

Maryland poker laws are favorable for players. Maryland is one of the few states that allow players to gamble freely online. There are no Maryland poker laws that criminalize players for gambling online.

However, there are some Maryland poker laws that players should be aware of. First, it is illegal to operate an online poker site within Maryland. Second, it is also unlawful to knowingly accept payments from an online poker site located outside of Maryland.

These Maryland poker laws apply only to online poker sites, not players. You are not breaking any Maryland poker laws as long as you are not operating an online poker site. You can freely play online poker from the comfort of your own home.

Maryland’s favorable online poker laws make it a great place to live if you enjoy playing online poker.

A Detailed Look at Maryland Gambling Law

Maryland’s gambling laws are as simple as they come. Some claim that Maryland does not have any laws pertaining specifically to internet gambling, which is offered as some sort of basis for it being silent in some way.

However, the law in this state regarding gambling is as inclusive as it could be. S12-102 (a) of the Maryland Code states: “Prohibited: a person may not bet, wager, or gamble.”

It doesn’t get any clearer than that. If you are in the state of Maryland, and you bet wager, or gamble, other than through state-sanctioned betting, of course, then you are in violation of the law.

This even includes playing for money in home games, and in fact, this state is famous for that, although there is a bill before the Maryland legislature that is looking to overturn that particular aspect (2). Home games aren’t mentioned specifically in the code, but keep in mind that the code prohibits all forms of gambling, and this is a form of gambling.

The so-called “Blue Monday” indictments, where U.S. authorities put together a second round of legal action following the infamous “Black Friday” events, originated out of Maryland, which put a scare into several offshore online poker companies.

So in spite of the U.S. Department of Justice’s finally admitting that the Wire Act did not apply to poker, removing the teeth of the UIGEA at the Federal level, it still applies if poker is illegal at the state level, and Maryland is one state where that’s pretty clear.

Maryland Gambling Law References

Short History of Gambling in Maryland

Gambling has been a part of Maryland’s history for centuries. Even before the formation of the United States, many colonial gentlemen demonstrated their wealth and refinement through horse racing.

  • In 1743,The Maryland Jockey Club founded in Annapolis was the first organized sporting association in the United States. However, Maryland has always had a solid moralistic streak, and the two opposing gambling factions have struggled against each other for much of the state’s gambling history.
  • In 1972, a modern version of the lottery was established. For a few years, nothing else significant occurred in Maryland casino gambling.
  • In 2008, Maryland voters authorized five casinos. They started with just slots, but they added casino card games and poker several years later.

The Future of Gambling in Maryland

Maryland has a long history of gambling, dating back to the early days of horse racing. Today, Maryland is home to six casinos, all of which offer a variety of table games and slot machines.

This could all change shortly, as Maryland lawmakers are considering a bill regulating online poker.

If the bill passes, Maryland will become the fourth state in the United States to legalize online poker. While it is still too early to say what the future of gambling in Maryland will look like, it is clear that the state is moving closer to legalizing online poker.

Final Thoughts

Maryland’s gambling laws are relatively permissive, which has resulted in a thriving live poker scene in the state. Maryland poker players also have access to several online poker rooms, and the Maryland Legislature is currently considering a bill that would regulate and tax online poker.

While the Maryland online poker laws are still in grey areas, players can rest assured that there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy some poker action.

So whether you’re looking for a live game or an online room, Maryland is sure to have something to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Legal Age to Gamble in Maryland? The legal gambling age in Maryland is 21. This applies to both live and online gambling.
Is Online Poker Legal in Maryland? Yes, online poker is currently legal in Maryland. However, operating an online poker site within the state of Maryland is illegal.
What Types of Gambling Are Available in Maryland? Maryland offers various gambling options, from horse racing to casino games. Maryland also has a state lottery and allows residents to participate in pari-mutuel betting. However, online gambling is not currently legal in the state.
Is Online Poker Going To Be Legal in Maryland? This is still to be determined, as the Maryland Legislature is considering a bill regulating and taxing online poker. However, online poker may be legal in Maryland shortly.

About the Author

Sadonna Price
Author Sadonna is a mom of two and an avid poker player who also enjoys online casino games. She has been part of the online gambling industry for over a decade, working as a news and blog writer. Sadonna still plays Texas hold’em in her free time while her daily job revolves around providing insights into the online gambling world using her creativity and writing skills.
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