In the past, home poker games were illegal within the state of Maryland, with the activity considered a crime and having the potential to earn anyone who took part with $1,000 in fines and as much as one year in jail. Yesterday, lawmakers of the state decided to vote in favor of legalizing home games, now allowing residents to enjoy the activity without the threat of prosecution.
HB 127 moved through the House and Senate quickly before Governor Larry Hogan signed the bill into law. Back in February, the bill sponsor Kirill Reznik was able to gain the backing of the House in regards to the measure. Small adjustments have been made to the measure since February to see the bill passed. These changes include the amount of combined player money to be brought to the table during home games can be $1,000. The previous suggested amount was $500.
The bill was officially signed by Hogan yesterday and will go into effect on the 1st of October this year. The Poker Players Alliance, a proponent of poker gaming, has been involved in the issue and discussed the signing on Twitter, thanking Reznik for his hard work and allowing the bill involving poker home games becoming law.
The state of Maryland has been consistently expanding their gambling offerings after starting with slot machine gaming back in 2008. By 2010, the state had their very first land based casino with table games added two years later. The gambling industry has been quite successful during the expansion, with this April’s earnings marking the first time the state was able to pass the $100 million mark when it comes to gambling earnings.
The passage of the home poker game bill is just another stepping stone in progressing the casino gaming industry within the state. Players can feel safe hosting home games now that the law has changed.
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