Maryland, sometimes called the “Chesapeake Bay state”, is famous for its steamed Chesapeake Bay crabs and crab cakes, Orange Crush fruit drink, the Star-Spangled Banner; the national anthem of the United States which was written during the Battle of Baltimore in 1812 by Francis Scott Key, and, perhaps infamously, for the acclaimed HBO series The Wire.
As one of the original 13 colonies, Maryland is about as red, white and blue as it gets. A diverse state with an increasable range of topography that includes almost every variant of landscape one can think of with the exception of a desert, Maryland’s gambling offers are equally as diverse and exciting as its landscape.
Map of Casinos In Maryland
Gambling has a long history in Maryland, with many ups and downs over the years. Today the state hosts six integrated casino resorts offering a wide range of table games, slots and video poker options. From the famous Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, a stop on the World Series of Poker circuit, to the ginormous ultra-modern MGM National Harbor, there’s definitely something for everyone when it comes to Maryland gambling.
Top 3 Casinos In Maryland
Here at USA Online Casino we’ve taken pains to research the best land-based casinos Maryland has to offer. After reviewing endless customer reviews and primary source material, we’ve come up with a list of what we believe are the three best casinos in the state in terms of gaming offer, hospitality, fine dining and entertainment options.
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
As the second largest casino in the state, the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, constructed in 2008, offers up 122,000 square feet of casino floor space. Games include over 2,200 slots, 150 video poker machines, a World Series of Poker poker room, off-track betting, and a fabulous selection of table games including, craps, blackjack, baccarat, roulette, fortune Pai Gow, four card poker, Mississippi stud poker, three card poker, ultimate Texas Hold’Em, let it ride, criss cross poker, three card baccarat, top 5 poker, buster blackjack, and blazing 777 blackjack. The casino also contains a number of fine dining restaurants, including celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s Guy’s Bar-B-Que Joint and Gordon Ramsey Steak, live entertainment and a luxury hotel.
Live Casino Hotel Maryland
With more than 200 live action table games, Live Casino Hotel Maryland started with 3,200 slots and video poker machines back in 2012. The casino’s game selection has since expanded by 1,550 additional machines, to compose one of the single largest collections of gambling machines on the east coast. The casino also boasts an impressive selection of fine dinning options including a delicatessen, Cheesecake Factory, seafood, Italian food, a prime rib steak house, Bobbby’s Burger Palace and more. The 17-storey hotel provides 310 guest rooms including 52 suites, a spa and salon, fitness center, conference center and meeting rooms among other luxury amenities.
MGM National Harbor
Located on the banks of the Potomac River a stone’s throw from Washington D.C., the MGM National Harbor is owned and operated by MGM Resorts International, one of the world’s leading casino brands. Offering up everything you’d expect from an MGM resort in Las Vegas, who’s Strip properties include the Bellagio, Circus Circus, Excalibur, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage to name a few, Atlantic City or Macau, the $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor opened in 2016 to rave reviews. With 135,000 square feet of gaming space, a 3,000-seat theatre, 27,000 square feet of meeting space and a 23-storey 308 room hotel, the MGM National Harbor is the ultimate in integrated resort casino. The casino also features a unique permanent art collection developed together with the Prince George’s County Arts and Humanities Council, Atlantic Arts and RareCulture.
Gambling In Maryland
Thanks to its proximity to the nation’s capital in Washington D.C., which is just across the Potomac River and proximity to outlying areas in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Delaware, Maryland’s integrated resort casinos continue to draw visitors from across the region to experience world class gambling, fine dining and entertainment. Combined with state-of-the-art facilities are a cornucopia of gaming options, making Maryland an excellent place to play whether on holiday with the family or travelling on business to Washington, Baltimore, New York or on your way up and down the eastern seaboard.
History of Gambling in Maryland
Some 60 years ago Maryland had the fine distinction of being the only other location in the country besides Nevada in which playing real money slots was legal. After the state governor vetoed a state law intended to legalize gambling in 1947, four counties in Southern Maryland side stepped the governor and wrote their own rules to legalize slots play in the late 40s.
The move, which provided for 9,300 operational real money slots across St. Mary’s, Charles, Calvert and Anne Arundel counties starting in 1948, proved a boon for the southern part of the state, pulling in millions in revenue yearly ($24 million in 1963 according to a report by the Slot Machine Study Committee) dramatically boosting the formerly poor rural economy and becoming the region’s main tourist draw.
The 1950s saw destinations like Chesapeake Beach and North Beach on the Chesapeake Bay thrive thanks to a steady stream of tourists from places like Washington D.C. coming to enjoy drinking on the beach by day and gamble with cocktail in hand by night. The trade was so lucrative, local police were told not to make gambling or drinking related arrests without prior approval to keep the tourist trade booming.
Due to a conservative backlash in 1963 the state finally outlawed slot machines and all other forms of gambling with the exception of the state lottery and charity bingo games. In 2010, a statewide referendum changed all that, with Maryland residents voting overwhelmingly to allow casinos and casino games. The first casinos opened in 2012 and the first poker rooms a year later.
Gambling Laws in Maryland
Maryland saw its first legalized gambling back in 1791, with the issuance of lottery grants intended to raise funds for local churches and various public works projects such as roads and schools. By 1834, with lotteries in the state running amok, the state legislature voted to put a stop to lottery games. In 1920, due to the proximity of stud farms in neighboring Virginia and strong demand for horse racing, the state moved to crate a horse racing oversight board. In 1948, local legislation moved to allow real money slots gambling in four Southern Maryland counties. In 1963, the state moved to stop issuing slots licenses in the four counties, with the last of the machines removed some five years later. With the state in need of funds, in 1973 Maryland passed a new lottery law, which proceeded to raise over $13 billion for the states coffers as of 2014. Finally, in 2012, a statewide referendum passed allowing casino gambling, including table games, leading to an overnight boom in the construction of integrated casino resorts across the state.
Today, licensed slots and table games are legal in the state, but online gambling remains a contentious issue, with a vote to legalize online gambling as well as sports betting in the state expected in the near future.
Maryland Gambling Facts
With Maryland conveniently located at the cross roads of four states, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware, as well as bordering the District of Colombia, its wide variety of contemporary casino offerings continue to attract impressive numbers of visitors from across the region. Casinos in neighboring Pennsylvania as well as racinos in neighboring Delaware provide some competition but Maryland’s strategic location and state-of-the-art facilities continue to ensure the industry remains strong and vibrant.
World Series of Poker
Maryland’s five integrated casino resorts have been thriving since opening their doors back in 2012. Generating millions in monthly revenue thanks to the state’s strategic location and proximity to major world cities such as Washington D.C. the casino industry has invested billions to ensure Maryland residents and visitors alike can enjoy only the best in state-of-the-art facilities.
|Rocky Gap Casino Resort||Flintstone||16701 Lakeview Road NE Cumberland, MD 21530||301-784-8400|
|Horseshoe Casino Baltimore||Baltimore||1525 Russell Street Baltimore, MD 21230||844-777-7463|
|Hollywood Casino Perryville||Perryville||1201 Chesapeake Overlook Parkway Perryville, MD 21903||410-378-8500|
|Ocean Downs||Berlin||10218 Racetrack Road Berlin, MD 21811||410-641-0600|
|MGM National Harbor||Oxon Hill||101 MGM National Avenue Oxon Hill, MD 20745||301-971-5000|