Gambling Legislation

Maryland lawmakers discuss use of credit cards in gambling

Maryland lawmakers discuss use of credit cards in gambling

Using credit cards for charitable gaming may lead to their use in other forms of gambling

A proposal to allow residents to use credit cards to play online fundraising games of chance sponsored by non-profits may be added to the 2024 Legislative Package for the Frederick County Council. Members voted on Tuesday to conduct a hearing on the proposed bill.

Councilman Mason Carter sponsored the legislation, commenting that “Volunteer fire companies have dealt with inflation firsthand as the cost of apparatus. Their facility, and the maintenance thereof, continue to skyrocket.” He added that It would “allow non-profit corporations to accept payments via credit cards for their online gaming.”

President of the Walkersville Volunteer Fire Department, Jim Graham, supports the bill, telling the Council that the department couldn’t host in-person fundraising events during the COVID-19 pandemic, including raffles, bingo and renting out the fire hall for other activities.

Graham wanted to hold fundraisers online and allow parties to wager using credit cards but was informed that it was against Maryland law. “I can go to Rutters, and I can use my credit card in the lottery vending machine and get lottery tickets. I can go online, use my credit card with Fan Duel, and do sports betting in the state of Maryland. Why can’t I go online and buy an online raffle from a non-profit in Frederick County? Anyway, it just doesn’t make sense to me,” said Graham.

“I wouldn’t read this as enabling any non-profit to now offer gaming events. I think that’s probably provided by separate law,” Councilman Steve McKay explained. “This is just for those non-profits that already have the gambling authorization that would give them this added tool.”

Non-profits looking to raise funds through gambling events must first acquire gaming permits from the state.

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