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Maryland Casinos Lower Blackjack Payouts
- December 26, 2016 By Oliver Young -
The first casino in Maryland opened back in 2010, which isn’t long ago, and ever since casinos and gambling are a hotly debated issue in “Little America”. One of the casinos in the state allowed its customers to smoke and earlier this year, the issue of legalisation of daily fantasy sports was brought up and debated in the public.
On December 8 2016, the newest casino in Maryland, MGM National Harbor opened its doors to the thousands of customers who flocked in, thus becoming the state’s sixth casino. However, not everyone was happy with the new casino and its policy, as players discovered that the new casino doesn’t always payout the standard Blackjack rate to winners who managed to hit Blackjack.
It was reported that players who wagered $25 and hit a blackjack, were paid out only $30, instead of $37.50, and an amount of $7.50 per hand isn’t that insignificant, especially for those who intended on playing a larger number of hands.
Gambling Is a Vital Source of Tax Income in Maryland
The casino didn’t do anything wrong though, as the new legislation allows Maryland casinos to establish their own rules regarding payouts for games like Blackjack and Roulette.
Representatives of the state claimed that the aim of the new legislation was to enable the operators to have a more hands-on approach, with fewer bureaucratic barriers that will allow them to offer their customers a wider range of products and services. The reduced payouts it was suggest, will allow casinos to offer lower wagering limits at multiple tables.
However, a large number of Blackjack aficionados who visited the casino on its opening night weren’t too happy and they took their discontent online, as hundreds complained on online forums and debate groups.
Maryland received over $500 million from its casinos, which made gambling the fourth main source of income for this state, after income tax, sales tax and corporate tax. Hence it is quite obvious why the state wouldn’t be too worried if the increase eventually leads to higher revenues.
Some Casinos Refused to Change the Payouts
Still, some casinos didn’t lower Blackjack payout odds, due to fears that they will lose their customers. Three casinos announced that they will only offer 3-2 Blackjack payouts, whereas the remaining ones didn’t rule out the opportunity to offer Blackjack games with lower payouts.
The Gaming USA Corporation, an organisation which publishes gambling related newsletters feels that Maryland made a wrong decision. The president of Gaming USA said that the decision would create problems and that according to the organisation rules for games like Blackjack should be uniform across operators and states.
The director of Maryland’s Agency which is in charge of regulating gambling and lottery felt that with the establishment of the state’s sixth casino, a large number of gamblers from neighbouring Virginia would be attracted and that would mean increased tax revenues for the state. The Agency know allows casinos to alter the rules for table games a lot more easily and with fewer restrictions.
Essentially, the aim is to enable casinos to be ready to response quickly to market changes. We are yet to see how the market will react to these particular changes.