Sports betting could be approaching legalization in Maryland, which is positive news for gamblers in the state. If people in Maryland want to gamble legally currently, they must travel to Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, or the District of Columbia.
Every state that borders Maryland has legalized sports betting, so the state is behind.
Positive News in the Senate
Maryland’s Senate committee that observed the House of Delegates sports betting bill unanimously passed an amended version of the legislation. This means that the entire Senate will now vote on the updated sports betting bill.
The Senate was expected to start the legislative process for the sports betting bill on Thursday. The Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee has made the potential landscape of Maryland sports betting vast.
The new bill states that there will be multiple types of retail sportsbooks at diverse venues, and there will be an unlimited number of online sportsbooks. The Maryland framework is unlike any other state in America.
The Maryland Senate committee hopes to implement this bill to help support minority and female-owned businesses. The bill is going to give many different companies the ability to run sportsbooks. Therefore, multiple citizens are going to benefit from the increased revenue due to sports wagering.
The original House bill had the intention of improving minority and female-owned businesses with sportsbooks. Although, the Senate enhanced the House’s legislation to impact a more significant number of people.
The House was going to limit the number of licenses that would be awarded in the state. The Senate scrapped this portion of the bill. The bill’s inclusive nature will make it more likely to pass in the Senate, which would bring sports betting to Maryland.
Details of the Bill
There will be four distinct types of retail sportsbooks in the state and a single online category. The top retail licenses will be labeled as A-1 and A-2. These will be for the six casinos in the state, horse tracks, and the state’s three professional sports venues.
The other two categories of retail sportsbooks are titled B-1 and B-2. Any business can apply for these licenses. These are much cheaper to attain.
A B-2 license will cost a business $50,000, where an A-1 certification will be $2 million. Every online skin license will be priced at $500,000.
When Will Sports Betting Be Implemented?
Sports betting will pass in Maryland soon, but when will licenses be awarded and bets get taken? The legislative session ends on Monday, so this bill is a significant priority.
Maryland voters favored sports betting on the November 2020 ballot by 67%, so there is a desire for legal wagering. There is some hope among legislators that sports betting will be moderately happening by football season.
Sports betting will still be growing in the fall, but there is a belief that some sportsbooks will be available by September. Once the bill gets passed in the Senate, it must go back to the House and pass again.
After this process is finished, it will go to Governor Larry Hogan’s desk for final approval.