Maryland, like many states, doesn’t have any specific laws on the books about playing online poker. Online poker is unregulated in Maryland. Thus, as far as the State is concerned, it is not illegal. And as such, online poker is legal in the state of Maryland.
Since the Federal government of the United States has no laws on the books that preclude individuals from engaging in this activity, players from Maryland are free to play to their heart's content. All they need to do is find safe poker sites to play on. With that being said, Maryland has been a bit rough on operators, which has caused less sites to offer services to those in the state. Luckily, not all operators have been scared off and there are still some great options available to those who want to play poker from this great state.
Below are the sites that are available to those within the borders of Maryland. Some decent bonus and rakeback options can be found, though not as many as may be enjoyed in other states unfortunately.
Maryland has slim pickings when it comes to real money online poker options, at least, slimmer than other states. There are only four networks that provide poker services to the state. Those four networks are Equity Poker Network, Chico Network, Grand Poker Network and Winning Poker Network.
All of the sites below are safe and legal. You will not get into any trouble for playing poker on these sites! Professional Rakeback has vetted these sites as well. They all pay out, no scam sites to be found in these lists. We only offer legit sites to our readers. How do we know they are legit? We are professional poker players and we play on these sites!
Chico Poker Network, headlined by BetOnline, has seen a fairly meteoric rise in its traffic over the past couple of months. This has made the network an intriguing possibility for many players as they offer good games, a Sit n’ Go leader board and many other promotions. While they don’t offer rakeback, players can take advantage of deposit and reload bonuses fairly regularly. This room is a good option for sit-n-go players and full ring cash game players as both are a fairly popular variant on the site. According to PokerScout.com the 7-day average is 450 players.
Chico Network also has a very good and active sportsbook, as well as an online casino option for players. Chico Network also offers great promotions for both the sportsbook and casino that allow players to easily supplement their win rates and take advantage of the quick withdrawals and payment processing available!
Grand Poker Network may be a new poker room, but their parent company has been around for a very long time. 5Dimes Group is one of the most trusted names in sports betting, and as such, their new poker room should be trusted without the fear that may come with newer, unproven sites. While the room is still growing, 50%+ rakeback and soft games are the hallmark of the room and it is a great opportunity for players to take advantage of.
On top of having access to everything that Winning Poker Network offers through its partnership with Grand Poker Network Maryland residents will also have access to the world-renowned sports book on 5Dimes. 5Dimes makes it exceptionally easy to move money from your poker account to sportsbook or casino depending on what you want most and where you feel your greatest edge is. You will still have access to the bitcoin deposits and withdrawals offered through Grand Poker network, so this means some of the quickest and easiest funding of accounts can be yours exceptionally easily, as outlined in our awesome guide on how to setup these deposits and withdrawals. Grand Poker Network offers one of the premiere sportsbooks and casinos available to US-based players.
To become a member at 5Dimes and get access to their casino, sportbook and poker clients, follow the link provided here.
Players can expect no real difference in the payout times from Maryland than the rest of the states chronicled in our report. Winning Poker Network, Grand Poker Network and Chico Poker Network all have bitcoin withdrawal options that make payouts exceptionally fast. Other methods are also rather fast, but do take longer than the bitcoin option, hence are rather strong recommendation that you utilize crypto-currency. However they may be easier for some players as there is less middle-man work to deal with those options. No matter your choice these sites provide easy and safe options for payouts.
Below we'll do our best to briefly break down some of the more interesting fact and questions about gambling in Maryland. How it pertains to the end user (you), the operator (the card room in question), and the political climate in the state in general. Where appropriate, we'll also touch on other gambling related issues.
When setting up the gambling laws in Maryland, the lawmakers didn’t stop short of making it as broad as humanly possible. Illegal gambling generally is very narrowly defined, as evidenced by some of the other states we have reported on. Maryland is significantly different in that they put a blanket ban on “betting, wagering or gambling.” The exact definition of what that entails isn’t exactly known, and it is likely that way on purpose. This definition also applies to both players and operators and oddly they do not make any distinction between the two, which is atypical for states to do when writing illegal gambling laws.
The second area of interest to individual players in Maryland should be that of the laws concerning gambling devices. As you likely guessed this is exceptionally vague as well. The law has taken to mean chips, money and even kitchen tables in the past. There is little reason to believe that a prosecutor would not also include a computer in this, but that has not been done. In fact, no one in Maryland has ever been brought up on illegal gambling charges stemming from the playing of internet poker. This should comfort players, as if it was going to happen, it likely would have taken place already.
Maryland is not the friendliest place for online operators to do business, but it is also not the worst. The vague laws that are a staple of the individual side of the law continue to be prevalent in the operators’ side of the law as well. It is expressly forbidden to be an online gambling operator in the state and the state has shown some interest in going after those operators. With that being said, this hasn’t had much effect on individuals playing poker online, as mentioned above and it is likely that any future attempt to bring an offshore gambling site to court in Maryland would fail fairly miserably.
Maryland used to be a much scarier place for offshore sites to do business, but this has changed in recent years. Despite this change though, many offshore sites have not returned to Maryland, likely out of fear of a reversal of their decision to note go after offshore sites. This is probably a safe thing to do for sites right now, as some states get very defensive of their more infant industries when they are trying to grow and land based casinos that are exceptionally successful and popular would fall under that category for the state of Maryland. Even though there is this fear from online sites about offshore gaming, the fear is only important to the sites themselves and is not indicative of the state of things for individual players as they can expect no differences from playing in Maryland, as opposed to other states. Getting money on and off the site is exactly the same for them as it would be from people of any other state and there is no delays expected on either end. Options like Bitcoin make this is truer, as your location pretty much doesn’t matter at all, which is great if you were still a bit uneasy.
The chances of regulation in Maryland are about average in comparison to the rest of the states in the US. The electorate tends to lean a bit more conservative than one might think, but it isn’t anything ridiculous that would make it impossible to see legislation regulating poker impossible. With Maryland now being home to a major casino that has proven to be very popular, especially among poker players, it’s a little easier to see legislation happening as well, because it would just be another revenue stream for the Maryland government. It’s much easier get online poker passed once the door has been opened for more gambling in the state, especially if revenues from that casino stay high and the citizens can see the casino isn’t bringing about the negative effects the opponents like to bring up.
Maryland is home to 4 major types of gambling with state lotteries, casino gambling, charitable organization gambling and pari mutuel betting. The only major type of gambling not on this list is tribal gaming, which isn’t actually present in Maryland, likely because of the small size of that state and thus lack of tribal lands. The Maryland state lottery is a very well-known and established brand that has been around for a very long time. The MD state lottery actually is in conjunction with many other states so that they can offer he largest prize pools. The charitable organization gaming aspect of the gambling scene is also much larger than it is in the average state, because of its proximity to Washington D.C. and the natural fundraising opportunities that it presents.
The live gaming scene in Maryland is not one that is well established though, at least not on a national scale. That is quickly changing though as Maryland Live! Is becoming more of a well-known and established brand. The casino opened in 2012, but was only slot machines at the outset, but by 2013 the full casino was opened and now it houses one of the more active poker rooms on the east coast. As the casino continues to grow it will become more well-known and will be an obvious choice to spearhead regulated gaming if the state were to approve it. It is not currently known if either has an interest in regulating online gaming, but it is easy to see why Maryland Live! would, be the most obvious candidate to move it along if it were to happen.
If you are lucky enough to have another address in a nearby state, be it your business address, summer home, second apartment, family home, etc, you may have other online poker options available to you. Here are a list of the states that border Maryland and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them: Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Delaware. If you are the type that flies far and wide, perhaps you have a residence in a state not listed above. In that case, please take a look at our more comprehensive real money online poker guide.
Many of your friends and family don't know they have options. Please consider sharing this information with them and helping to regrow the poker community.