Maryland Casinos and Gambling

The casino industry in Maryland is fairly new with laws being put into place in 2008. The first casinos started opening in 2010.

The state also offers race tracks, charitable gaming, and lottery games.

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I’ve included an overview of the casinos in the state as well as the main horse tracks below.

Hollywood Casino – Hollywood Casino is located in Perryville, Maryland and boasts over 34,000 square feet of gambling and gaming space. The casino has a 10 table poker room, over 20 table games, and 1,500 slot machines and video poker gaming devices. You’ll also find two restaurants on the property.

Maryland Live Casino – Located in Hanover, Maryland, the Maryland Live! Casino has over 160,000 square feet of gambling floor space, a buffet, two bars, and six restaurants on the property. The casino has over 4,000 slot machines and other video gaming devices (making it by far the largest in the state at the time this article was written) and almost 200 casino table games. Table games include Ultimate Texas holdem, roulette, Mississippi stud, mini baccarat, craps, blackjack, and three card poker. They also have a large poker room with over 50 tables.

Rocky Gap Casino and Resort – Rocky Gap Casino and Resort is located in Flintstone, Maryland and offers over 500 slot machines and 10 table games.

Horseshoe Casino – Located in Baltimore, the Horseshoe Casino has 122,000 square feet of gambling space, multiple restaurants and bars on the property and plenty of casino games action. The casino offers almost 150 table games, a poker room with 25 tables, and over 2,200 slot machines and video poker games. The Horseshoe Casino is open 24 hours a day.

Maryland Casino Games

Maryland casinos can offer any casino games you’re used to playing in your favorite casinos. Slot machines, video poker games, poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, and a wide range of other popular table games can be found in the casinos across the state.

Sports Betting in Maryland

Maryland doesn’t have any laws in place that allow sports betting and no sports books or book making operations operate legally in the state. If you want to stay within the law don’t place any bets in the state on sporting events. Even wagering on the NCAA basketball tournament brackets is technically illegal.

Maryland Race Tracks

Casino at Ocean Downs – Often called a racino, the Casino at Ocean Downs offers horse racing and casino games. Located in Berlin, the facility has over 34,000 square feet of gambling area. Ocean Downs offers 800 gambling machines, four restaurants, a bar, keno, simulcast racing events, and a race book. All horse racing at the track is harness racing.

Timonium Racetrack – Featuring thoroughbred horse racing, the Timonium Racetrack is located in Timonium, Maryland and is the racetrack used for the festivities at the Maryland state fair.

Laurel Park – Laurel Park, located in Laurel, Maryland, offers two different race tracks, both for thoroughbred horse racing. The main track is one and one eighth miles long and has a dirt track. The second track has a turf surface and is one mile long. The property also includes two bars and three restaurants.

Rosecraft Raceway – Located in Fort Washington, the Rosecraft Raceway offers harness racing and two on site restaurants.

Fair Hill Fairgrounds – The Fair Hill race track is located in Elkton and offers thoroughbred horse racing at various times throughout the year.

Pimlico Race Course – Located in Baltimore, Pimlico offers thoroughbred horse racing. The property also has three restaurants.

Poker in Maryland

Poker is legal in Maryland at the casinos that have poker rooms. Maryland Live Casino has the biggest poker room in the state with over 50 tables.

Maryland Charitable Gaming

Unlike many states, all charitable gaming like bingo, raffles, instant bingo, pull tabs, and other games of chance are regulated at the county level instead of the state level. Currently over 20 counties in Maryland authorize some sort of charitable gaming for actual charitable organizations.

Charitable organizations have to apply for a license for each event they wish to hold. In addition to bingo and other normal charity events, Maryland charities can get licensed to hold roulette games, wheel of chance games, and casino nights. All casino night charitable gaming functions are restricted to card games only.

Lottery

The state of Maryland offers a full line of lottery games controlled by the state and offers their residents the chance to participate in the Powerball and Mega Millions drawings. Mega Millions and Powerball are available in a wide range of states creating bigger jackpots faster than individual state lotteries.

Maryland law sets the percentage of lottery proceeds that get returned to players and the percentage given to the state. The state gets 30%, 10% goes to retailers, and 60% is returned to players as prizes.

Gamblers should compare the expected pay back percentages on casino games before buying lottery tickets. Almost every game in the casino operates at less than a 10% house edge, making it much better to play in a casino than buy lottery tickets. The only game found in casinos that offers such poor returns is keno. Blackjack can offer a house edge of less than one percent and even the worst slot machines usually only work on a five to eight percent advantage.

Slot Machine Ownership

Only antique slot machines, manufactured at least 25 years earlier, may be legally owned by Maryland citizens. Collectors who own antique slot machines can’t legally use the machines for any commercial or business purpose and machines may not be used for any type of gambling.

Conclusion

Though the casino industry is fairly new in the state of Maryland, they haven’t taken long to catch up to most other states. Offering a nice selection of modern casinos filled with slot machines, table games, and poker as well as a wide range of horse track racing, Maryland isn’t a bad choice to consider for your next gambling trip. You can also find a wide range of charitable gaming in many communities including bingo, raffles, and casino nights and the state offers lottery games.

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