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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Is It Possible to Use Real Money Online Casinos in Maryland?

Is It Possible to Use Real Money Online Casinos in Maryland?

Last Updated on 05/17/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Everything that you need to know about online casinos in Maryland can be found right here. We will cover everything from the law, to the best operators and more.

From social and sweepstakes casinos to real money sites, we will give you the lowdown on whatโ€™s what. Additionally, it would be remiss of us if we didnโ€™t have a look at what the future holds with regard to Maryland online casinos.

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Maryland online casino laws – A quick overview

If we take a look back over time, itโ€™s safe to say that Maryland has had a somewhat rocky relationship with casinos. Back in 1943, the state lifted its ban on slot machines, only to make them illegal again 20 years later. They then lifted that ban again in 2008 and today you can find no fewer than six land-based casino resorts in the state. When it comes to online gambling in Maryland though, things are still progressing.

If you are looking for a real money online casino in Maryland, you cannot yet play one legally. In 2021, a bill was passed that legalized sports betting in Maryland, including online and mobile wagering. However, this bill did not extend to real money online casinos or poker sites.

However, you do have some alternatives in the form of sweepstakes and social casinos. These are both completely legal in Maryland and allow you to play slots and casino-style games from the age of 18. When it comes to real money casino gambling though, land-based resorts are still the only option available.

Real money online casinos Maryland – The best alternatives

As weโ€™ve covered above, real money online casinos in Maryland are not yet legal, and we canโ€™t say for sure what the future holds. What we do know is that you have two fantastic online alternatives in the form of sweepstakes and social casinos. For those of you who are unfamiliar with both concepts, we have taken a closer look at them for you below.

Maryland social casinos

Social casinos are online and mobile platforms where you can play slots and casino-style games completely free using virtual currency. If you so wish, you may also be able to buy additional virtual currency via an in-app purchase.

At an online social casino, you are playing just for fun and no real money gambling takes place at all. While you can win prizes, these are usually virtual prizes that can only be used in-game.

The social element does come into play as well, as most operators facilitate some form of player interaction. You can often compete against friends and post your scores and progress on social media.

Maryland sweepstakes casinos

Sweepstakes casinos are very similar to social casinos, only with one crucial addition โ€“ the element of promotional play. Like social casinos, a sweepstakes casino will allow you to play games just for fun using virtual currency. However, this is supplemented by a secondary virtual currency known as โ€œSweeps Coinsโ€.

These Sweeps Coins can be used to redeem rewards, which can even consist of cash prizes with some operators. Unlike regular virtual currency, Sweeps Coins cannot be bought โ€“ they can only be acquired for free via bonuses.

As a result, sweepstakes casinos operate with a prize entry system and offer no form of real money gambling, despite the fact that in some cases cash prizes are there to be won. Overall, sweepstakes casinos are the closest legal alternative that you have to playing at an online casino for real money in Maryland.

Retail casinos

If the real money gambling element is more important to you than the online aspect, then retail casinos offer the best alternative. You can legally gamble in all of Marylandโ€™s six land-based casino resorts. Here you will find slot machines, table games and even poker tournaments that are 100% legal and regulated.

At what age can I legally use casinos in Maryland?

Officially, the age for gambling in Maryland is 21; however, if we are to focus on the three online casino alternatives above, there are a few discrepancies. If you want to enter a retail casino, then the legal age is strictly 21 and older. On the other hand, as neither social nor sweepstakes casinos are classed as gambling sites, the legal age is officially 18.

However, you will find that some operators, more so with sweepstakes casinos than social casinos, will set the age as 21 and older in their terms and conditions. This is mostly because sweepstakes casinos tend to be legal in at least 40 states. In some of those states, the minimum legal age for sweepstakes is 21. Therefore, to cover their back, operators often just set the minimum age as 21 across the board.

Top Maryland licensed online casinos

Strictly speaking, Maryland doesnโ€™t yet have a licensing system for online casinos. As we said before, social and sweepstakes casinos are not classed as real money gambling sites. Therefore, they do not need to acquire a license from the Maryland State Lottery & Gaming Control Agency โ€“ which is the case for online sportsbooks.

They do still have to be regulated and approved to operate in the US though. And here at TheGruelingTruth, you can find our list of the top-rated social and sweepstakes casinos for players in MD. We keep this list updated regularly and you can click on each operator to find our review of each site.

Online casinos in Maryland might not yet be legal; however, that doesnโ€™t mean that all forms of mobile gambling arenโ€™t. Is it legal to gamble in Maryland? In fact, the answer to this question is broadly yes in 2023. There are just a number of restrictions, including on online casinos and poker.

In November 2020, the majority of Marylanders voted in favor of legalizing online and retail sports betting. The bill for this was then signed into law in April 2021 and the first retail sportsbook opened its doors to the public in December of that year. Online sports wagering then went live almost a year later in November 2022.

At the moment itโ€™s impossible to say if and when online casinos will become legalized in Maryland. The legalization of sports betting has undoubtedly been a positive step, which does give us hope for the future. Additionally, the sports betting rules in Maryland and about as liberal as they come, which shows a progressive attitude toward online gambling as a whole.

With that being said though, there are many other US states that have taken similar action when it comes to legalizing online sports wagering. Most of these, it must be said, have not opted to legalize online casinos. Still, if and when the lawmakers in Maryland choose to legalize real money online casinos, we will be the first to let you know.

What online casinos would likely become available?

We should stress that this is purely speculative, as Maryland has no plans to legalize online casinos at the time of writing. However, if we look at the legal online sportsbooks available, we can get a pretty good idea of what online casinos would be likely to go live if Maryland were to make them legal.

Some of the biggest betting brands in the US have launched their sportsbooks in Maryland. BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel and DraftKings are all live in the Old Line State right now, and they all do have online casinos in states where they are legal. It is therefore realistic to expect that these operators would apply to have their online casinos approved in Maryland if the opportunity presented itself.

Conclusion – Choose one of our top sweepstakes casinos in Maryland

The bottom line here is that, for the moment, online casinos are not yet legal in Maryland. However, sweepstakes and social casinos do offer the closest alternatives. We therefore recommend that you make use of our social casino comparison tool here at TheGruelingTruth in order to find your ideal operator. And as we said before, if and when things do change for the better, we will be the first to let you know.

Top MD social casino sites – June 2023

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Online casinos Maryland FAQ

๐Ÿ’ธ Can I win real money at an online casino in Maryland?

Here, you can discover what prizes you can win, if any, when playing at an online casino in the state of Maryland. All of our information has been written by experts and is kept up to date.

โ“ Does Maryland allow online gambling?

As is the case in most of the US, the laws surrounding online gambling in Maryland can be complex and fragmented. There have been progressive changes, as we have explained for you in this article.

๐ŸŽฐ What is the best online casino in Maryland?

The answer to this question is always subjective, but here at TheGruelingTruth, you can find a ranked list of the best casinos in Maryland. Additionally, we have also provided fair and honest reviews written by our experts.

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