Agency Timeline

Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency History & Milestones

  • November 1972: Voters approved the creation of the Maryland State Lottery Agency as a vehicle to generate revenue for the State. Maryland became the eighth state in the nation to establish a lottery, following New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
  • January 2, 1973: The Maryland State Lottery Agency opened its doors under Director James P. Silcher with 94 employees and 3,800 licensed sales agents.
  • May 15, 1973: 5 million tickets went on sale for the Maryland Lottery’s first game, Twin Win, which offered a top prize of $50,000.
  • May 24, 1973: Spectators gathered in Baltimore’s Hopkins Plaza to witness the first drawing. Andres Fotis was the Lottery’s first winner, taking home a $50,000 prize.
  • February 10, 1976: The Maryland Lottery’s first scratch-off ticket, the $1 Instant Lottery, went on sale.
  • July 29, 1976: The first Pick 3 drawing was held. The number drawn was 408. Pick 3 debuted as an evening drawing held Monday through Saturday.
  • July 1978: The Lottery’s annual fiscal year contribution to the State surpassed the $100 million mark for the first time.
  • April 8, 1983: The first Pick 4 drawing was held. The number drawn was 9425. Pick 4 debuted as a twice-weekly game drawn Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • July 11, 1983: Pick 4 was expanded to Monday through Friday evenings.
  • May 1, 1995: Midday Pick 3 and Pick 4 drawings were held for the first time and were conducted Monday through Saturday.
  • September 6, 1996: The Maryland Lottery and those from five other states (Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia) participated in the first drawing of The Big Game, which changed its name to Mega Millions® in May 2002.
  • May 23, 2004: Sunday midday drawings for Pick 3 and Pick 4 were held for the first time.
  • November 4, 2008: By referendum, Maryland voters ratified a new article of the state constitution, which authorized the operation of up to 15,000 video lottery terminals (slot machines) at five specified locations in Maryland. A newly created Video Lottery Facility Location Commission was tasked with awarding the licenses to operate casinos at the five locations, while the Maryland Lottery was required to regulate and oversee the casinos’ ongoing operations.
  • February 3, 2010: The Maryland Lottery participated in its first Powerball® drawing.
  • September 27, 2010: The state’s first casino, Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County, opened to the public.
  • January 4, 2011: Ocean Downs Casino in Worcester County opened to the public.
  • March 30, 2012: A Mega Millions® drawing produced a $656 million jackpot, the largest in the game’s history as of that date. One of the three jackpot-winning tickets was sold in Maryland. Three anonymous Maryland winners, who dubbed themselves “The Three Amigos,” split a $218.6 million share of the prize. Jackpot-winning tickets each worth $218.6 million were also sold in Kansas and Illinois.
  • June 6, 2012: Live! Casino in Anne Arundel County opened to the public.
  • July 1, 2012: Legislation passed during the 2012 Regular Session of the General Assembly took effect, requiring the Commission to regulate instant bingo machines in Anne Arundel and Calvert counties.
  • August 15, 2012: In its second 2012 Special Session, the General Assembly passed legislation expanding commercial gaming in Maryland and otherwise impacting the operations of the Maryland State Lottery Agency. Some provisions of this legislation took effect immediately or on October 1, 2012. Provisions authorizing table games and a sixth casino in Prince George’s County required passage of a statewide referendum. Other provisions could not take effect until the casino in Prince George’s County commenced operations.
  • Effective October 1, 2012: The “Maryland State Lottery Agency” and “Maryland State Lottery Commission” were renamed as the “Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency” and the “Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.” Changes were made to the composition of the Commission and terms of Commission members. Casinos were authorized to remain open 24 hours a day. The Agency was authorized to license veterans’ organizations in certain counties to operate instant ticket lottery machines (ITLMs).
  • Following a referendum on November 6, 2012: Legislation was implemented authorizing the casinos to operate table games, and the award of a casino license in Prince George’s County.
  • March 6, 2013: The first table games in the state were introduced at Hollywood Casino Perryville.
  • April 11, 2013: Live! Casino introduced its first table games.
  • May 22, 2013: Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Allegany County opened to the public, offering slot machines and table games.
  • August 2013: The Commission promulgated regulations for licensing instant bingo machines located in Anne Arundel and Calvert counties; 13 instant bingo halls have been licensed.
  • August 26, 2014: Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore City opened to the public, offering slot machines and table games.
  • September 2014: The Maryland Lottery launched the Instant Ticket Lottery Machine Program, available exclusively to veterans’ organizations in Baltimore City and Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Washington counties.
  • July 2015: Combined fiscal year contributions to the State from Lottery ticket sales and casino gaming revenue exceeded $1 billion for the first time in Fiscal Year 2015 (July 2014 through June 2015).
  • January 28, 2016: The Maryland Lottery participated in its first Cash4Life® drawing. The multi-state game offers a top prize of $1,000 a day for life and a second-tier prize of $1,000 a week for life.
  • June 1, 2016: Legislation took effect that authorized the Commission to promulgate regulations for the licensure of family entertainment centers in Worcester County, and for the registration of skills-based amusement devices.
  • December 8, 2016: MGM National Harbor in Prince George’s County opened to the public, offering slot machines and table games.
  • January 1, 2017: The MLGCA began regulating the licensure of family entertainment centers in Worcester County, and began conducting annual registrations of skills-based amusement devices.
  • February 27, 2017: The Maryland Lottery launched its first $30 scratch-off ticket, $2,000,000 Fortune, offering a $2 million top prize.
  • December 29, 2017: Ocean Downs Casino launched its first table games.
  • July 2019: The MLGCA’s contribution to the State of Maryland for Fiscal Year 2019 (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019) totaled an all-time record of $1.311 billion. Lottery sales in FY2019 were an all-time record of nearly $2.2 billion, leading to new records for Lottery profits, prizes to players and retailer commissions. FY2019 casino gaming revenue was more than $1.76 billion. Casinos contributed $717.5 million to the State, including $542.7 million to the Education Trust Fund.
  • February 10, 2020: The Maryland Lottery launched Fast Play games — instant-win games that are printed by Lottery terminals and vending machines. The launch included five tickets at price points ranging from $1 to $10.

Maryland Casino Opening Dates

September 27, 2010: Hollywood Casino Perryville, Cecil County

January 4, 2011: Ocean Downs Casino, Worcester County

June 6, 2012: Live! Casino & Hotel (formerly known as Maryland Live! Casino), Anne Arundel County

May 22, 2013: Rocky Gap Casino Resort, Allegany County

August 26, 2014: Horseshoe Casino, Baltimore City

December 8, 2016: MGM National Harbor, Prince George’s County

Chronology of Current Maryland Lottery Games

Game Years Played
Scratch-offs 1976 – present
Pick 3 1976 – present
Pick 4 1983 – present
Keno 1993 – present
Bonus Match 5 1995 – 1998/2002 – present
Mega Millions® 1996 – present
Multi-Match® 2006 – present
Racetrax® 2006 – present
Powerball® 2010 – present
5 Card Cash™ 2012 – present
Cash4Life® 2016 – present
FAST PLAY 2020 – present