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Maryland Closing In on Legal Sports Betting

Maryland is gaining steam for legal sports betting in the state. Maryland is in a hotbed for sports wagering in the United States in the mid-Atlantic, and they could soon join the market.

On Tuesday, Governor Larry Hogan signed a bill into law that set the state’s standard for legal sports betting. The exact timeframe for sports betting is still unknown, but the bill guarantees that the legal market will be in Maryland in the future.

Lawmakers have the goal of enacting sports betting before football season. Football season is a prime part of the year for bettors throughout the legal states. If Maryland were able to launch the industry by September, it would pay financial dividends.

Details of the Bill

The bill that Hogan signed into law laid out the framework for sports betting. Hogan, a Republican Governor, has always been favorable towards the form of gambling. The state’s six casinos will receive licenses for retail sportsbooks. However, the in-person market will spread far beyond casinos.

The Laurel Park and Pimlico Racing Tracks will also be given licenses. Additionally, the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, and Washington Football Team can all open retail sportsbooks.

Smaller businesses will be given a chance to take advantage of the industry as well in Maryland. There will be 30 additional licenses for off-track betting facilities and large bingo halls. Small organizations with under 25 employees can open retail books. They will have access to permits for a smaller fee.

Although, mobile betting will be available throughout the state. Therefore, it’s unlikely that small businesses will pay for a license.

The bill will allow for up to 60 mobile licenses to be granted in the state. Most sports betting takes place through online skins, which makes these licenses extremely desirable. All businesses will have a shot to redeem one of these permits.

Since the bill was signed, the state can begin reviewing license applications and setting up the future market.

Excited Lawmakers

Most of the Maryland legislature was ecstatic about the new sports betting bill. House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones said that she was pleased with how the bill turned out.

The original drafts did not give small businesses a realistic chance to get in on the action. She said the bill was written through “a lens of inclusion.” The Democrat then claimed, “I’m particularly proud that we will sign legislation that opens up opportunities in the industry of sports betting to minorities and women.”

There will be approximately 100 total licenses, and the majority will be awarded to small businesses. Besides the casinos and professional sports teams, small companies throughout Maryland will hold a significant proportion of the permits.

The bill became possible after state residents voted to legalize sports betting in the November 2020 election. Sports betting companies will pay a 15% tax to the state, and most of the revenue will be invested in public education.

Projections have shown that the state could receive upwards of $17 million per year from the 15% tax. The sports betting bill was one of 200 that the governor signed into law on Tuesday.

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