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US Poker

  • Regulation is currently under discussion
  • Regulation has been discussed but no recent movement
  • Online poker is not likely anytime soon

Choose a state to find out more about state legislation.

Maryland

(Population of 5.976 million as of 2014)

Maryland is another state that has expanded on its gambling offerings, and the iGaming discussion dates back to 2012 when House Speaker Michael Busch told the House Democratic Caucus that the state must consider iGaming.

“In order to maintain a healthy and competitive gaming program that attracts players from beyond Maryland’s borders and keeps Maryland gamers at home, we must put our gaming program on par with other jurisdictions in the Mid-Atlantic,” Busch said in a memo, referencing Delaware’s legalization efforts.

More recently, the topic of iGaming has centered on legalizing online lottery ticket sales, while poker has taken a back seat. That said, Stephen Martino, Director of the State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, previously discussed iPoker with CardPlayer.

“If we are ever in a position where we are looking to implement some form of online gaming, we will certainly look at the states that have gone before to get perspective and a handle on the best practices,” Martino said.

He went on to say: “It would take action by the legislature. I think the feeling is to get the casinos up and going, continue to measure what the competitive forces are around us, to the extent that we consider New Jersey to be a distant competitor. Two of the four states that are kind of in our competitive area have or are going down the road with some form of online gaming, and that’s something we are going to have to keep an eye on.”

Maryland also passed a home game bill that made it legal to host and play a poker home game in the state. It passed after a unanimous vote. The bill, HB 127, placed a limit on how much money can be on the table. A compromise placed the number at $1,000, reported CardPlayer.

Before this bill, players could have gone to jail for a year and been hit with a $1,000 fine for playing. The bill went into effect in October 2016. Maybe this leniency will carry over into the online scene.

While Maryland casinos continue to trend upward with $126.2 million in revenue in January 2017, up over 40 percent from the same month in 2016, the online gaming industry is unchanged. A new casino popped up, MGM National Harbor, in December of 2016.

Maryland is letting its casino industry mature a bit before seriously considering iGaming, but expect them to jump into the mix after other states begin legalization efforts.