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Online Casinos in Maryland (US)

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There are no legal definitions for online gambling in Maryland law and therefore it is prohibited to set up any form of online gambling operation. This, however, doesn’t mean that it is strictly illegal for individuals to play online casino games. There are no laws saying that you can’t eat ice cream on a Sunday, so therefore it is assumed it is legal to eat ice cream on a Sunday. The legislation will tend to always target organizations rather than individual players and there are a bunch of fully legit operations based overseas that are always happy to welcome new customers. You will however have to be aware of the fact due to the lack of legislation and government oversight, you will be more exposed to risk from illegitimate operations.

One of the best ways to mitigate risks online is by keeping yourself informed. That’s why we recommend you check out our casino reviews here at GoodLuckMate, written by industry veterans, so that you can easily get a measure of a site’s legitimacy and value. 

Gambling Regulation

Like most other US states, Maryland’s online gambling regulations remain nonexistent. While neighboring states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey have had a fully regulated gambling market for years now, the Old Line State sits on the sidelines with most of its contemporaries. While land-based gambling is very much alive in the state, social casinos that allow you to play using virtual money is the only form of regulated online gambling, as any and all forms of risk are taken out of the games. This is all set to change very soon though, as a recent 2020 filing created the momentum for a vote to be cast on a regulated sports betting market. The end of 2020 saw the vote pass and it is therefore expected that 2021 will be the year that a fully functional sports betting framework will be established, with the possible inclusion of an online component as well. Several other states have already implemented a fully regulated sports betting scene, but this has rarely ever lead to online casinos getting paid much attention and therefore it is expected that it will still be quite some time before Maryland will be able to compete on the same level as its above-mentioned neighbors. 

Localized Online Casinos

Even though most online casinos operate from Europe, their localization options still manage to align nicely with US ideals. The large mix of languages, currencies and cultures that populate Europe makes it incredibly hard for organizations to effectively handle localization options for each of their players. That is why default options are provided so that players can still play even if their native language is not supported for instance. Default options will most commonly consist of English language options and US dollar payment methods, which is naturally well suited for US players. Furthermore, large US sporting events like the Superbowl are able to draw in huge international crowds, which all sports betting sites are always eager to capitalize on.

Gambling with US Dollars

US dollars are so widely available across the world that it is almost a requirement for any and all payment providers to have some sort of support for the currency. This makes it an ideal choice for operations that cater to players from around the world, as it is unrealistic to expect an organization to be able to support every currency under the sun. US dollars are therefore used as an alternative for players whose local currency is not supported. As such, you will actually find it very difficult to locate an online casino that doesn’t support US dollars, unless you are looking for some of the newer cryptocurrency exclusive casinos that do not deal with any forms of conventional currency.

Casinos in Maryland

The state of Maryland has around 15 land-based casinos, as well as numerous slot halls that combine to offer a total of almost 12,000 slot machines. This clearly shows that there is quite a bit of love for gambling in the state, but unfortunately, this has yet to cross over to the online world. In this respect, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware (All neighbors of Maryland) are all ahead and it is hoped that the Old Line State will be able to make up some of the difference during the course of 2021. That remains to be seen though and in the meanwhile, we will still need to wait to see if online casinos will appear on the docket in the future.


Dispute resolution – can I get help from a third party?


A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.

Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.


Secure payments – can I trust a casino with my money?


If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.

Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.


Fair gaming – do the games give me a fair chance to win?


The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.

The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.


Encrypted website – how is my information kept safe?


An SSL-encrypted website should be mandatory for any casino, and very few casinos operate without this or similar safe encryption features. Always keep in mind that you are giving the casino quite a bit of sensitive information, including your payment details. When you’re uploading and sending documents to verify your identity, you want to make sure that no unauthorized third-party has access to them. Site security, therefore, doesn’t only include the website itself but also what the casino does on the backend. You should always look into a casino’s data security. You’ll normally find information about this in their terms and conditions and their privacy policy. If in doubt, contact their support and ask for more detailed information.

Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.


Gambling license – can I play at a casino from my country?


The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.

The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.


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