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Responsible gambling in Maryland

Legal online sports gambling was launched in Maryland in November 2022, so it is a relatively new phenomenon in the state. When you dive into the action, you should recognize the need to gamble responsibly, and we examine the subject in detail on this page.

Fact checked by: Gary Garry
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But before we proceed further, if you need immediate help with a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Maryland problem gambling resources

Maryland lawmakers addressed the matter of potential problem gaming when they drafted the legislation that led to the legalization of the activity. They have made resources available to residents of the state, so help is available where it is needed.

Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling

People that are looking for assistance or information about gambling problems can turn to the Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling (MARG). This organization is partnered with the Maryland Department of Health, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA), the Maryland State Senate, and every licensed casino in the state.

This entity points people toward the 1-800-GAMBLER helpline, and you can use the interactive map that they provide to find a counselor in your area. They also have a self-assessment tool and detailed information about the state’s voluntary exclusion program.

The Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling

The University of Maryland School of Medicine has established The Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling. On their website, you can access a chat function that gives you the ability to communicate with a counselor in real-time. There is a treasure trove of information on the site, and the Center conducts ongoing research, so it is a fantastic resource for Marylanders.

The MLGCA Voluntary Exemption Program

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) administers the Voluntary Exemption Program, designed to assist Maryland residents in avoiding compulsive gambling.

Individuals interested in joining this Maryland self-exclusion list for gambling are required to fill out an application and submit it either to the MLGCA office in Baltimore or to an MLG compliance officer available at any of the six casinos in Maryland.

Nationwide problem gambling resources

In addition to these state-specific resources, there are national entities that provide problem gambling education and assistance. There is help available for the gamblers themselves, and family members and friends that are negatively impacted can receive the support they need.

Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous is a 12-step program that has been providing assistance to people that are challenged by gambling addictions for over 50 years. They have had a great track record of success, and it can be liberating to discuss your experiences with others that have similar tendencies.


People that have spouses, siblings, and other people close to them that are problem gamblers face challenges of their own. Gam-Anon provides support for individuals that are in this position, and you can visit their website to find out more about their offerings.


If you want to get involved in a community that discusses gambling issues, GamTalk is there for you. There are chat rooms where groups of people can gather to share their stories, and there are inspirational “stories of hope” that members have shared.

Responsible gambling overview

Traditionally, gambling is something that you do at a brick-and-mortar casino. Most people do not have casinos in their neighborhoods, and there are no casinos in most towns in the United States. You have to make a decision to make the trek to a physical location.

Under those conditions, gaming is not available to you unless you have some time and you make a decision to venture out. Online sports betting is an entirely different dynamic because you can place your bets from your phone from anywhere at any time.

A lot of sports fans watch games every night, so you are potentially in a gambling environment when you are sitting in your living room. Since it is so convenient and routine, it is easy for some people to fall into a problem gambling pattern.

You should take this reality into consideration from the start. Resolve to gamble responsibly for your own benefit and that of your family. If you keep it in the proper perspective, betting on sports can enhance your enjoyment of the games you love with no harm done.

Tips for gambling responsibly

  • Determine your gambling budget for the week or month and do not deviate from it under any circumstances.
  • Set an increment for each bet that is realistic in light of the budget that you have established for yourself, and once again, stick to it.
  • Check yourself if you have been drinking alcohol and refrain from placing bets when you are not thinking clearly.
  • Expect to eventually lose the bankroll that you set for yourself – look at it as part of your entertainment budget.
  • If you are upset after a difficult gambling loss, do not impulsively make another bet that you did not intend to make to try to get the money back.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously, and remember, a lot of general knowledge about sports will not make you a successful gambler.
  • Withdraw your winnings when you have a good run so that you continue to stick within your budget and your standard increment.
  • Be willing to pocket modest wins instead of always shooting for the stars with low-probability exotic wagers.

Responsible gaming best practices for gambling operators

  • Prominently post links to problem gaming resources and proactively promote responsible gambling.
  • Be clear, truthful, and completely honest when you run advertisements.
  • Do not use misleading verbiage to promote special offers.
  • Give players the ability to set limits on their gambling in terms of time spent and money lost.
  • Train employees to recognize problem gambling patterns.
  • In brick-and-mortar locations, do not take wagers from overly intoxicated patrons.

Problem gambling warning signs

A red flag should be raised when you see this type of behavior in yourself or another person:

  • Lying about gambling
  • Having no interest in activities other than gambling
  • Increased bet increments
  • Scrimping on other expenditures to devote more money to gambling
  • Use credit card cash advances to gamble
  • Borrow cash from people you know for gambling purposes
  • Accumulation of debts related to gaming
  • Gambling success or failure causes mood swings

Enjoy gambling responsibly

At the end of the day, you have the power to enjoy gambling responsibly. It is not really that difficult as long as you tread lightly and recognize the potential for gambling problems to develop.

The “it can never happen to me” mentality can be very detrimental as it applies to problem gambling. And of course, if you know that you are prone to addictive behavior, you should be extremely careful from the outset.

Fact checked by: Gary Garry