When did casino gaming and sports wagering become legal in Maryland?

In a 2008 constitutional referendum, voters approved the installation of video lottery terminals (slot machines) at five privately owned casinos in Allegany County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Cecil County and Worcester County. In a 2012 referendum, voters approved the legalization of table games at Maryland casinos and the addition of a sixth casino in Prince George’s County. Maryland’s six casinos opened between September 2010 and December 2016. Click here for more information on the casino program.

In a 2020 referendum, voters approved the legalization of sports wagering in Maryland. The Maryland General Assembly passed enabling legislation in April 2021 that was signed into law by Gov. Larry Hogan in May 2021. Maryland’s first retail sports wagering locations opened in December 2021, and the first mobile sports wagering operators launched in November 2022. Click here for more information on the sports wagering program.

What role does Maryland Lottery and Gaming play in the state’s casino and sports wagering programs?

Maryland Lottery and Gaming serves as the regulator of the state’s casinos and sports wagering entities and is responsible for ensuring that all casinos and sports wagering licensees comply with all regulations before issuing an operation license. As regulators, Maryland Lottery and Gaming is responsible for the following:

  • Ensuring casinos and sports betting licensees provide proper surveillance and adequate security staffing at all times.
  • Ensuring casinos and sportsbooks have adequate systems of internal controls.
  • Performing background investigations and licensing of casino and sportsbook employees.
  • Performing auditing and accounting of casino gaming and sports wagering revenue.
  • Ensuring casinos and sportsbooks comply with Maryland’s applicable laws and regulations.
  • Ensuring casinos and sportsbooks have adequate responsible gambling programs.

What is the role of Maryland Lottery and Gaming’s Compliance staff?

Compliance staff members are on duty during all hours of operation at all six casinos. Their job is to ensure that the casinos adhere to state gaming laws and regulations, as well as the casinos’ own internal policies. Patrons may visit the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Compliance office at each casino with questions related to such issues.

How does Maryland benefit from casinos and sports wagering?

The casinos contribute hundreds of millions of dollars annually to state programs. Since the opening of the state’s first casino in 2010, casino gaming revenue has contributed more than $5 billion to the Maryland Education Trust Fund, which supports pre-K through 12 public education, public school and higher-education construction, and capital improvements including community colleges. Casino revenue also supports local impact grants, local jurisdictions, Maryland’s horse racing industry, programs for small, minority- and women-owned businesses, and responsible gambling programs. Sportsbooks contribute 15% of their proceeds to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund, which supports public education programs.

The state’s six casinos employ more than 6,000 people and make the communities in which they are located more attractive to new businesses. With the influx of new enterprise, both businesses and residents reap the rewards of visitor spending as well as revenue generated through gaming, property and sales taxes.

How are proceeds from table games distributed?

According to state law, 80% goes to casino operators, 15% goes to the Education Trust Fund and 5% goes to local jurisdictions.

How are the proceeds from slot machines distributed?

According to state law, the slot machine proceeds are divided differently for each casino. Information is available in the monthly gaming revenue reports.

How often is casino and sports wagering revenue reported?

Casino gaming revenue is reported on the 5th of every month or the first Monday after that if the 5th falls on a weekend. Sports wagering revenue is reported on the 10th of every month or the first Monday after that if the 10th falls on a weekend.

What is the payout percentage on slot machines at Maryland's casinos?

State law requires that each slot machine must pay out a minimum of 85% to players. In addition, regulation requires each casino to maintain a payout percentage of 85% to 95% for the slot machine floor as a whole. Floor averages are posted publicly in each casino, usually near the cashier’s cage. They are also published quarterly in a report to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission from Maryland Lottery and Gaming’s Managing Director of Gaming.

Where are Maryland’s six casinos located?

The state’s six casinos are as follows:

Hollywood Casino Perryville (Cecil County)
Maryland’s first gaming facility, Hollywood Casino Perryville opened on September 27, 2010 and is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. The casino has slot machines and table games, dining, and live entertainment every Saturday. For more information, go to hollywoodcasinoperryville.com.

Ocean Downs Casino (Worcester County)
Ocean Downs Casino opened on January 4, 2011, and added its first table games in December 2017. The facility is operated by Churchill Downs, Inc. For more information, go to oceandowns.com.

Live! Casino & Hotel (Anne Arundel County)
Live! Casino & Hotel (formerly Maryland Live!), located in Hanover’s Arundel Mills commercial district, opened on June 6, 2012. Maryland’s third casino and entertainment complex includes slot machines, table games, a live music venue, several restaurants and almost 5,000 parking spaces. A hotel and events center opened in 2018. For more information, go to marylandlivecasino.com.

Rocky Gap Casino Resort (Allegany County)
Located in Cumberland, Rocky Gap Casino Resort opened May 22, 2013, with slot machines and table games, several dining options, 215 hotel rooms and a meeting space. For more information, go to rockygapcasino.com.

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore (Baltimore City)
Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino opened on August 26, 2014 and features slot machines, table games, including a poker room, and several dining options. For more information, go to caesars.com/horseshoe-baltimore.

MGM National Harbor (Prince George’s County)
MGM National Harbor opened on December 8, 2016 and features slot machines, table games, several dining options, a theater and a hotel. For more information, visit mgmnationalharbor.com.

Does Maryland Lottery and Gaming regulate other types of gaming programs in addition to the casinos and sports wagering?

Yes. In addition to the Maryland Lottery, the casinos and sports wagering, Maryland Lottery and Gaming regulates the following ancillary gaming activities:

When will online casino games or other forms of online gambling be available in Maryland?

In accordance with Article XIX of Maryland’s Constitution, any expansion of commercial gambling must be approved by a majority of voters in a statewide referendum. Placing any question of expanded commercial gambling on a statewide ballot requires approval by the General Assembly.