Players in Maryland have a variety of exciting online gambling options from which to choose including daily fantasy sports, sweepstakes casino, video poker, and lottery. However, Maryland is yet to legalize online sports betting, online casinos, or online poker.
Maryland voters will be presented with a choice in November 2020 of whether or not to legalize online sports betting. If voters pass the measure, online sports betting could become a reality in the state sometime in mid-2021. The decision will also undoubtedly have implications for how the state approaches online casino and poker games in the future.
The fate of sports betting in Maryland is now in voters’ hands. In early May 2020, Senate Bill 4 (SB4) passed without Governor Larry Hogan’s signature. Hogan’s inaction did not legalize sports betting but instead kicked the decision to November 2020, when voters will make the final call by referendum.
SB4 does not contain regulatory details or specifics as to how Maryland will run sports betting. If the bill passes, Maryland lawmakers will finalize the governing laws over sports betting in early 2021.
Online casinos were left out of the recent SB4 package as Maryland’s lawmakers instead focused on legalizing sports betting. Maryland voters approved land casinos in 2008. However, state legislators have not finalized a plan for online casinos. Thus, they are not ready to put the prospect to vote despite the legalization of similar iGaming products and other relevant technologies in neighboring states.
Stay tuned, though. If Maryland voters approve the sports betting measure in November 2020, they are likely to turn their attention toward online casinos in the coming years. This is especially likely if they see revenue benefits from legal online wagering.
Although poker is trendy in Maryland casinos, online poker is not yet legal in the state. Maryland legislators have been focused solely on sports betting while ignoring a push from the gaming industry to legalize online casinos and poker.
However, playing sweepstakes poker is legal, since it is not classified as gambling. The style of play and form of wagering is different than that of a casino, and therefore represents a legal loophole.
There is a “wait and see” attitude among Maryland lawmakers when it comes to online poker. But historically, Maryland legislators have been slow to finalize gambling expansion bills to put to referendum. If voters reject sports betting, then it could stagnate the push for legalizing online poker in Maryland.
Sweepstakes poker is very popular in the US. It is legal in 49 states (the lone holdout being Washington state) as well as the District of Columbia.
When comparing sweepstakes poker to a common card room or even an online poker room, there are several noticeable differences. The first is that sweepstakes poker utilizes coins or tokens in their game instead of actual money. Although you need money to turn into coins before you begin playing, you aren’t making bets with money like you would in a casino card room.
After getting the coins, you can then enter tournaments with varying sizes of other participants and cash prizes for the winners. Most sweepstakes poker sites offer weekly bonuses for deposits and how often you play, giving you the chance to gain even more entries to tournaments and other events.
The largest sweepstakes poker site in the country and a popular place to play for Maryland gamers is Global Poker. After you create an account, make a deposit and verify your account information, you can sit down and play Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha, or Jackpot Sit’n’Go.
While Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha are widely known in poker circles, the Jackpot Sit’n’Go is a three-player game where the winner can claim anywhere from 2x to 10,000x the buy-in as the prize. Blinds double every three minutes making this unique poker game an experience that keeps you on your toes for the entire tournament.
Global Poker connects players from across the US. With a host of rotating promotions, you can expect new games each week and a variety of prize packages.
Sweepstakes poker is a terrific option if you like the action of the poker table without feeling like you need a serious bankroll to sit down with the big boys.
Although online casinos are not legal in Maryland, sweepstakes casinos are a great legal alternative. Much like being on the casino floor, sweepstakes casinos offer games like blackjack, roulette, video poker, and everyone’s favorite game, video slots.
What sweepstakes casinos don’t do is have you play with real money. Instead, the sweepstakes casinos turn your deposit into coins, so that you can play all your favorite casino games without the pressure of needing more cash. Games are lightning-fast, offer plenty of action, and could result in big windfalls if you are successful and a little bit lucky.
Sweepstakes casinos have come a long way in the past few years as they have improved the user experience, making the gameplay faster and more enjoyable for all.
One of the most popular sweepstakes casinos in the US is Chumba Casino. It offers anything you’d find on the floor at a Maryland retail casino. The site offers dozens of exciting video slots, fast-paced blackjack, and five-card draw video poker with no time limits on your decisions.
Not only is creating an account secure at Chumba Casino, but the site also returns your winnings quickly. There are numerous opportunities to add coins to your bankroll with weekly bonuses and promotions.
Another legal sweepstakes casino site is LuckyLand Slots. LuckyLand is the home to some of the most enjoyable and lively slot games on this side of Las Vegas.
With 35 slot games that come through smoothly on app, LuckyLand offers an excellent sign-up bonus of 10 sweeps coins for new players.
In states where sports betting is not legal, daily fantasy sports (DFS) fill the void by offering a legal alternative. Since success at DFS hedges on skill and sports knowledge rather than luck, it is not classified as gambling.
DFS is popular in Maryland with companies such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and Monkey Knife Fight, offering customers numerous ways to take on competition from around the U.S.
On all three sites, the primary way that DFS players earn money is through entering tournaments that offer a slice of the prize purse to the top teams in a group. For example, imagine that 5,000 players enter a tournament and the top 50 teams are paid. Those winners receive a percentage of the total prize pool based upon their place in the final standings.
DraftKings and FanDuel are widely considered to be the top two companies for DFS events. They offer players the opportunity to build a virtual roster of professional athletes in a variety of sports. Then, they take the player’s assembled team and compete in events to earn points.
Another site that is growing in popularity is Monkey Prize Fight (MPF). Although the site offers traditional point scoring like FanDuel or DraftKings, they also offer “over/under” contests that allow you the opportunity to take home double your wager.
For example, let’s say Tom Brady is playing on Sunday. MPF might set Brady’s over/under on yards thrown at 250. You then can choose if he will go over or under that total. After you make a few similar choices with other NFL players, you follow along as they play, and if your lineup matches with your choices, you win your bet.
Maryland offers betting on horse races for both in-state racing and off-track racing around the globe. There are several horse racetracks in Maryland, including Pimlico Race Course, which hosts the Preakness Stakes (the second race of the Triple Crown). All racetracks offer in-person betting on on-site races. You can also bet on races being held at other tracks in the US and abroad.
At several of the Maryland tracks including the MGM National Harbor Racebook in Oxon Hill, you can make Off Track Betting (OTB) wagers. OTB refers to any race being held at another track in the US or world. Racebooks display betting lines and bettors may place wagers against the current odds.
Racebooks stay open year-round in Maryland to accept wagers on horse races in other parts of the world. You can walk into an off-track betting parlor, look at the current odds, and place a wager on a horse to win, place, or show. If you are feeling adventurous, you can lay money down on a popular parlay bet like a trifecta or super-trifecta.
TVG is an online gambling option for race bettors in Maryland. Through the company’s mobile app or via a web browser, bettors can place wagers on races throughout the US and internationally. The site offers a sign-up bonus when you open an account and also televises the races for a complete experience that is legal in Maryland.
Maryland approved the state’s lottery in 1973, paving the way for billions of dollars in revenue and prizes for those fortunate enough to hold winning tickets.
Over 4,400 retailers offer a wide variety of exciting lottery games to customers. The famous Mega Millions game, for example, pools tickets from over 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands to offer a jackpot that can climb into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Another well-known multi-state game, Powerball, also grows into the hundreds of millions until a winner is crowned. It creates excitement that spans the nation as players hope to bring home the winning ticket.
Maryland offers limited online lottery options, but they are not non-existent. Through a subscription service, players can repeat their favorite numbers in the multi-state Mega Millions, Powerball, and Cash4Life games. They can also participate in the Multi-Match contest offered by the Maryland Lottery.
A subscription account can be set up online, but the application and payment must be mailed to the Lottery office for processing. Once you are set up, you no longer have to worry about getting to the store on time to create a ticket. Instead, you can relax and enjoy following the numbers each week as lottery officials hold their drawings.
Maryland has been slow to legalize real money online gambling for a variety of reasons. However, if you look closer at the state’s historical approach to gaming, you’ll find that this is not outside its norm.
Although the state lottery has been a long-standing tradition in Maryland since 1973, casinos didn’t show up until 2012. Live poker rooms did not open until two years later.
One of the biggest roadblocks for the expansion of online gambling in Maryland has been the fact that voters make the ultimate decision. While that might be viewed as a slam dunk, Maryland voters have historically ignored the potential revenue gain and instead focused on family impact.
In November 2020, Maryland voters will once again decide on the expansion of online gambling in the state with the possible adoption of sports betting. If passed, the measure will legalize betting on sporting events. However, lawmakers decided not to include details about regulations before sending the bill to voters.
If the bill passes, legislators will then draw up regulatory plans. At that time, they will make the ultimate decisions on what bettors will be able to wager on through their mobile apps, websites, and in-person at a casino.
There are several neighboring states with legal online sports betting, including Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Other nearby states such as Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee are moving toward the legalization of sports betting.
Yes. You can play DraftKings’ daily fantasy sports (DFS) options in Maryland. The state recognizes DFS contests as games of skill rather than luck, and therefore they remain legal. Players in Maryland can create their virtual rosters to participate in contests with other players across the US.
However, while DraftKing’s DFS games are legal Maryland, players may not partake in online sports betting options offered on the mobile app.
Yes. Like DraftKings, FanDuel’s DFS games are also legal in Maryland. FanDuel is also popular sportsbook in states where online sports betting is legal. But since sports betting is not legal in Maryland, players within state lines may not partake.
Online sports betting will be on the ballot in Maryland’s November 2020 election. If voters pass the bill, known as Senate Bill 4 (SB4), lawmakers will then approve regulatory rules with the hope that sportsbooks will open sometime in late spring 2021.
Online casino games will not become legal in 2020. The state’s legislators did not pass any bills legalizing iGaming on mobile apps or through websites.
Chumba Casino is available and legal for players in Maryland. The sweepstakes casino offers a mobile app and website platform that allows players to enjoy a variety of games such as blackjack, slots, video poker, and roulette.
Instead of the player making a bet with real money, they buy gold coins bundled with free sweeps coins. Sweeps coins are the currency for sweeps games and winnings can be exchanged for real prizes (including real money).
Global Poker is legal in Maryland as they use the sweepstakes poker model to offer players the chance to win prizes. Instead of betting with actual money, players buy coins that they can use in virtual tournaments with card sharks from around the US.