February 23, 2024 3 min read


Legalization of iGaming Faces Opposition in Maryland

Legalizing online gambling is expected to generate tax revenue and create new jobs, but opponents of the activity fear excessive gambling and harm

Efforts toward the legalization of online gambling activities in Maryland continue. Last month, Sen. Ronald Watson introduced Senate Bill 603 (SB 603), a bill titled “Internet Gaming – Authorization and Implementation,” effectively proposing the legalization of online gambling activities, including casino games such as slots and poker.

The proposal marks another effort toward legalizing the activity, seeking to make Maryland the latest state to regulate iGaming. Currently, only several other US states permit online gambling activities as such options are not widely spread like sports betting which is available in nearly 40 US states.

Per SB 603, the six casino operators in Maryland would be permitted to sign deals with up to two online gambling platforms. Ensuring proceeds for the state, the proposal calls for the implementation of a 47% tax rate on online gambling revenues reported by licensed operators in the state. This otherwise means that iGaming companies will keep 53% of the revenue, while taxes will help education throughout the state via the Maryland Future Fund and combat problem gambling.

Sen. Watson, who was recently interviewed by CBS Baltimore, revealed that the proposed bill has taken him approximately three years. Talking about the proposal, he said he hopes that this time the bill will gain traction. The Senator explained that thanks to SB 603, iGaming activities will be available for Maryland residents 24 hours a day from anywhere within the state limits.

Not Everyone Supports the iGaming Legalization

According to Sen. Watson, the legalization of online gambling can generate more than $300 million for the state, allowing residents to enjoy gambling activities from the comfort of their homes. Addressing potential concerns about excessive gambling and addiction, he explained that innovative technology can help identify and protect gamblers who show signs of addiction.

Once such a person is identified, Sen. Watson said, their account can be temporarily suspended, or they can be blocked. Additionally, he said that such customers can be contacted via an agency that can offer support and treatment for gambling addiction.

We can block somebody’s account, give them a cool-off period.

Sen. Ronald Watson

Besides generating revenue for Maryland, the potential approval of iGaming is expected to create new jobs. Under Watson’s proposal, online gambling companies will be able to establish studios for live online casino games.

Despite the benefits, not everyone agrees with Watson’s proposal. The recent report from CBS Baltimore released the position of Dona Wiggins, a Maryland resident, who confirmed that online gambling isn’t a good idea. “They’ll be home gambling their whole paycheck away,” warned Wiggins, speaking about the potential negative impact of the legalization of iGaming across the state.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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