Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine


Poker Training

Newsletter and Magazine

Sign Up

Find Your Local

Card Room


Maryland Online Gaming, Poker Nixed In Senate

Bill Dies For Second-Straight Year


Efforts to legalize online gaming and poker in Maryland appear to be dead, according to Sen. Ron Watson (D), who backed the bill in the state senate. Watson said legislators approved a budget agreement last week that doesn’t include online gaming revenue.

That closes the door on the issue for now. The state house approved a bill in March, but efforts in the senate appear to be unsalvageable now with the legislative session coming to a close this week. Watson hoped a referendum could at least pass, allowing voters to decide the issue. That looks to be dead as well.

“Neither iGaming nor the referendum will move forward this session,” Watson told USBets.

Coming Up Short

Maryland online gaming originally looked to be one of the best shots at online poker expansion this year. The house bill allowed for a total of 18 licenses with four off-track betting facilities and two bingo halls also allowed to apply for a license.

Watson didn’t expect the issue to reach serious discussions again until 2025 or 2026 with the issue eventually going to voters via referendum. If all that happens, the earlier launch would probably be in 2027 or later.

Whether Maryland casino workers’ criticism of the plan affected support in the senate isn’t known. Leaders of the union representing many of the state’s casino workers expressed opposition in November. Legislators also looked at the issue in 2023, but that also failed.

With 6.2 million people, Maryland could have been a nice addition to the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) – adding to the country’s online poker player and prize pools. The shared liquidity interstate compact includes Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, and Michigan.

Operators aren’t currently live in Delaware or West Virginia, although state officials expect that to change in the latter part of this year. Pennsylvania legislators are also considering joining the MSIGA.