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Maryland Charitable Gaming

Charitable gaming in Maryland is regulated at the county level and is permitted in 21 counties. It is run by qualified, bona fide charitable organizations. These organizations are permitted to hold raffles, bingo games including instant bingo, card games and casino nights restricted to card games, a wheel of chance and roulette.

All aspects of charitable gaming are regulated and enforced by the county, except raffles for political committees or candidates for public office. The Secretary of State also sets down some basic rules regarding raffles; however, a county's regulations may override the basic rules.

A qualified charitable organization is any organization registered as such with the Charitable Organization Division under the Secretary of State. A licensed charitable organization wanting to hold a charitable event must register with the county in which the event will be held. It then must apply for a license for each event it wishes to run. Most counties, such as Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County, require that the application be submitted to the County Commissioner. However, there are one or two counties that have a County Board to which applications are submitted and that approves or denies them. Each county decides every facet of charitable gaming, including types of games allowed, duration and number of events allowed, license fees, and license term. Local charitable gaming rules and regulations must go through the legislative process in the General Assembly to be enacted as law, which will be enforced at the local government level.
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