Md. Governor Stops Live Racing at all Racetracks; Closes Casinos and OTBs

March 15, 2020

Gov. Larry Hogan has issued an emergency order to close all Maryland casinos, racetracks and simulcast betting facilities to the general public indefinitely.

Effective Monday, March 16, live racing will cease at all of Maryland’s Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing facilities regardless if there is a current meet. Facilities will also be closed for training.

The following properties are affected by the governor’s emergency order, which takes effect at midnight Monday and will remain in effect until the state of emergency has been terminated or until superseded by other orders:

– Laurel Park

– Pimlico Race Course

– Timonium Race Course

– Fair Hill Races

– Rosecroft Raceway

– Ocean Downs

– MGM National Harbor

– Live! Casino & Hotel

– Horseshoe Casino Baltimore

– Hollywood Casino Perryville

– Ocean Downs Casino

– Rocky Gap Casino Resort

– All simulcast betting facilities in the state

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency will work with casinos to facilitate an orderly shutdown of operations. This order does not apply to hotels adjacent to casinos. 

Additionally, Hogan reiterated that failure to follow his order prohibiting large gatherings is a crime, and will be enforced if businesses fail to comply.

“This [COVID-19] situation continues to evolve and will escalate rapidly and dramatically,” Hogan said, “These are unprecedented actions in an extraordinary situation, but they could be the difference in saving lives and keeping people safe.”

The Maryland Departments of Commerce and Labor have compiled resources to help businesses whose daily operations are affected during the state of emergency. We encourage members of the business community to reach out with their questions by sending a message to

The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. The state of Maryland is continuing to operate under a state of emergency, and all levels of government are taking a comprehensive, collaborative approach to keep Marylanders safe. The list of ongoing state actions is available at

Edited Press Release 

Photo: Anna’s Bandit with Xavier Perez in the irons wins the 2019 Maryland Million Distaff Handicap at Laurel Park. 

Photo © Dottie Miller

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