Online Casino Legislation in Maryland is Pending Approval

Since the dissolving of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) by the Supreme Court, the online and land-based gambling scene alike has been in disarray across America. Now that the decision to make sports betting, and by extension, online casinos, legal is considered a state-by-state issue, more and more states are taking up the idea. Every one of the 50 states is having a discussion about whether to legalise online casino gambling, and Maryland is no different.

Maryland, like a lot of other states in the US, has a bill on the table that they are regarding. But legalising sports betting was a slow process, so it might be a while before players can enjoy the benefits of online casino legislation in Maryland. We’re breaking down what the process is, how soon we can expect it, and what benefits there are for Maryland players and operators.

What’s happening in Maryland?

Officially, online casino legislation in Maryland says that all slots, table games, and poker sites, are illegal. There are a series of land-based sweepstakes casinos that offer all of these services in the state, but no online equivalent right now.

As yet, casino legislation in Maryland for sports betting is in fact legalised. As of November 2022, the Maryland sports betting market went live, introducing Barstool, BetRivers, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet to accept wagers.

Benjie Levy, head of Barstool Sportsbook owner Penn Interactive, said at the time: “We are excited to debut Barstool Sportsbook in Maryland and expand our online footprint to our fourteenth state. We now look forward to introducing our integrated media and sports betting experience and serving the state’s passionate fans with a best-in-class, technology driven online product.”

However, casino legislation in Maryland has been introduced that will allow for a referendum on the November 2024 general election ballot. Senate Bill 267, introduced by Democratic Majority Leader Nancy King and Senator Ronald Watson, will allow voters to decide on the idea of allowing online casino legislation in Maryland and to legalise poker in the state. There is to be a hearing on the bill by the Maryland Senate on February 15th in the Budget and Taxation Committee.

What are the benefits of passing the bill?

If the state’s land-based casinos are any indication, gambling is only on the up. Maryland’s casinos received over $157.27 million in revenue in January of 2023, which was an increase of 8.8% from January of 2022, and an increase of 1.3% from December 2022.

On top of that, there are obvious tax benefits for casino legislation in Maryland overall. These land-based casinos sent the state $70.73 million in January, up 13.2% from January 2022. Of that, $51.41 million went to the Education Trust Fund, which is separate from the State’s General Fund and focuses no funding the Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act.

The taxes are definitely the most attractive element to officials when thinking about whether or not to allow casino legislation in Maryland. Not only will casinos be steadily donating taxes yearly, but the recent Covid pandemic gave new appreciation to the online gambling industry.

When lockdowns caused all the land-based casinos to close, New Jersey was in a particularly good place despite the closure of its Atlantic City. The industry and the state were kept afloat by online casino alternatives. With the physical buildings closed to the public, players turned to online games. Revenue shot up, and with it, taxes.

As the Finance Magnates said: “New Jersey was a trendsetter in regard to the gambling industry. It legalized sports and online betting in 2018. Since then, its economy has benefited from the revenue. The once ailing economy is now doing great.

“Following COVID shutdowns, many land-based casinos shut their doors. Online gaming experienced an all-time high in all parts of the world. New Jersey wasn’t left behind. It has consistently beaten its record of years completed with discrepancies as people keep betting from their home or work computers and mobile devices.”

There are also efforts from operators in Maryland to give back to the community they stand in, with revenues going towards communities and jurisdictions impacted by the casinos, as well as the horse racing industry in the state, plus small, minority and women-owned businesses.


It’s easy to see why government officials in Maryland might look to the effect that Atlantic City had on the wider New Jersey state and decide that casino legislation in Maryland is for them. A lot of other states already have had the same idea and either have taken, or are taking, steps to legalise sports and online betting in the state.

However, casino legislation in Maryland is not going to happen quickly. The state is small, quaint, touristy, and its demographic not abundant in gamblers. The next opportunity they do have to legalise online gambling is not until 2024, so for now the state will have to make do with the land-based casinos and sports gambling that took them so long to legalise.