January 30, 2024 2 min read

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New Bill Proposes Online Gambling Legalization in Maryland

Supported by Sen. Ronald Watson, the bill proposes the legalization of iGaming activities across the state

After the countrywide expansion of legal sports betting, legislators in different US states are exploring opportunities to legalize online gambling activities. Also referred to as iGaming activities, online gambling can raise valuable tax revenue while at the same time providing players with a legal way to gamble. While currently there are several states that offer online gambling, others are in the process of legalizing the activity. One such state is Maryland.

Last week, Sen. Ronald Watson introduced Senate Bill 603 (SB 603), a proposal that called for the legalization of iGaming across the state. The bill marks the Senator’s latest effort toward iGaming and comes after similar legislation did not see the light of day last year.

SB 603, titled “Internet Gaming – Authorization and Implementation,” proposes to establish a competitive online gambling market in Maryland. If SB 603 successfully gains traction, voters in the state will be able to vote for or against the proposal this November.

Under the bill, Maryland’s six casino operators would be able to join forces with up to two online gambling platforms. This provision is expected to ensure the prosperity and growth of the iGaming sector along with the retail offering.

iGaming to Raise Tax Revenue, Create New Jobs

Taxation of the iGaming activities would be set at 47% of the proceeds. This otherwise means that licensed online gambling operators would retain 53% of their revenues. Part of the proceeds collected from iGaming would be dedicated toward combating problem gambling and the state lottery. The majority of the revenue would benefit Maryland’s Future Fund, supporting education throughout the state. The license itself would be awarded for a period of five years.

Besides revenue from taxes, online gambling activities may help create new workplaces. Per Sen. Watson’s proposal, iGaming operators would be able to build and operate live gaming studios. Given that this provision remains a part of SB 603, new jobs across Maryland are expected to be created.

Besides retail casino gambling, Maryland currently offers online sports betting as well. Just last month, the betting sector in the state set a new record hitting $559.9 million in betting handle. The latest figure surpassed the previous record of $550.7 million set back in November.

Given that the new proposal gains traction, Maryland may become the latest state to legalize iGaming, joining important markets such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, among others.

Co-editor

William Velichkov is a research-driven writer. His strengths lie in ensuring factual accuracy, vetting government documentation and reaching out to regulators and other officials. He is particularly fond of financial reporting, the sports betting industry, B2B partnerships and esports betting developments. William is a strong asset to the GamblingNews team as he adds a bedrock to our reporting.

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