Maryland Online Poker
There are nearly six million people in Maryland, yet online poker remains as cloudy an issue as in many of the States of the Union with fewer residents. With no law pertaining directly to online poker, we are left to look at the facts at our disposal. No player has been prosecuted for playing online poker in Maryland, so from that all we can take away is that with or without legal poker sites Maryland currently has no problem with players enjoying the USA’s most famous card game.
Maryland is well known for horse racing, and that often carries a healthy gambling culture along with it. The Old Line State also has had a brief history of slot machines, which were legalized in 1949 but outlawed less than 20 years later. Furthermore, the Maryland lottery is among the oldest in the United States, having launched in 1973. It was only recently that land based poker was launched at the Maryland Live! Casino.
In terms of legal online poker Maryland’s biggest claim to fame, if you can call it that, is being the state from which the ‘Blue Monday’ indictments were served in May 2011. In addition, the indictment against Bodog founder Calvin Ayre originated in the Old Line State, whose motto is ‘Manly Deeds, Womanly Words.’
Lawmakers in Maryland are yet to really address the subject of legal online poker sites, however there is some chance of this changing if politicians are spurred on by developments in neighboring Delaware. Delaware is one of the three states currently offering legal poker sites in 2018, despite being smaller than its neigbor, so legal online poker in Maryland might come to fruition if legislators see Delaware reaping some benefits from the activity.
What were the Blue Monday indictments?
These indictments, which were issued about a month after Black Friday in 2011, saw a number of larger sites forced out of the USA market, targeted a number of smaller legal poker sites Maryland residents, as well as those of other states, were using for real money online poker. Still, the fact that the indictments stemmed from Maryland does not necessarily mean the state will avoid regulating online poker in the future, and indeed no player has been prosecuted for merely playing on online poker sites.
Didn’t Maryland produce a World Series of Poker champion?
Indeed it did. Greg Merson, the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event champion, hails from Laurel, Maryland. He grew up in the Old Line State, where he developed his online poker skills and became one of the best real money cash game players in the world, before making a live poker breakthrough in 2012 with back-to-back bracelet wins. He now has a place in Canada, which lets him play online poker on more sites, but he is a Maryland boy at heart. Another famous poker figure with Maryland ties is WSOP announcer Norman Chad, who went to college at University of Maryland, College Park.
Can players from Maryland access the legal poker sites in Delaware?
Delaware’s in-state online poker regulations come with strict geolocation restrictions, ensuring that you need to be within Delaware’s borders to play on its intrastate online poker framework. Unfortunately, this means, despite Maryland’s close proximity to the First State, Marylander’s cannot play online poker under its neighbor’s laws.
Could Maryland Live! help push online poker forward?
The live poker room at the Maryland Live! land-based casino made an impressive $350,000 in its first four days, after launching last year, and $2.3m in its first month of operation. This has not yet seen serious discussion of a regulated online poker offering, however the Maryland Live! website already offers free-to-play online casino games. There remains some hope that, if this all continues to thrive, then the idea of an online poker framework in Maryland might not be so far away.