March 27, 2024 3 min read


Online Gambling Bill Picks up Speed in Maryland

While a proposal calling for the legalization of iGaming gained traction in the state, opponents of the activity raised concerns about its impact

Unlike sports betting which is available in nearly 40 US states, only several states currently offer legal online gambling activities. Considering such activities are conducted through the internet, many Americans already play slots, live dealer and other iGaming titles online but use the services of operators who hold licenses in jurisdictions outside of the US. Seeing this issue, lawmakers in a handful of states, are proposing the legalization of iGaming.

In Maryland, a bill is gaining traction after passing the state House earlier this month. The proposal, House Bill 1319 (HB 1319), introduced by Rep. Vanessa Atterbeary, successfully cleared the House after a 92-43 vote. Advancing to the state Senate, the proposal is now with the Budget and Tax Committee, where it will seek further approval and a green light.

Despite the traction, HB 1319 doesn’t have long as it needs to pass by April 8 in order to be added to the ballot in November. This is not an uncommon route for bills of such sort, considering that many states ultimately allow their residents to vote for or against major proposals such as the one in question. Still, the future of HB 1319 remains uncertain, considering that it will seek support from the Senate, where many opponents have voiced their concerns about the potential negative impact of iGaming.

According to Atterbeary, the legalization of online gambling would generate some $200 million in state tax per annum. Moreover, the bill is expected to help combat the illegal online gambling sector, she has said before. At the same time, Atterbeary confirmed that a regulated iGaming market will help protect consumers from excessive gambling.

Maryland Needs to Regulate Online Gambling

During a debate on Tuesday, Rep. Atterbeary spoke about the benefits of HB 1319, addressing some of the raised concerns. Opponents of iGaming warned that such activities can result in an uptick in the cases of at-risk and problem gambling, bringing gambling harm across Maryland. Moreover, they spoke about the potential detrimental effect of iGaming on the retail sector.

Addressing the concerns, Rep. Atterbeary, who was recently quoted by iGB, said that residents in the state already engage in online gambling activities. She said that people across the state use the services of offshore operators that do not hold US licenses. “You have folks going on their phones or their computers and doing iGaming with somebody in Curaçao or somewhere far away, not here in the state of Maryland,” explained Atterbeary on Tuesday, adding that it is imperative for the iGaming sector to be regulated.

She said that the proposed bill addresses the concerns of the land-based sector by allocating $10 million for employees of such venues. Moreover, Atterbeary confirmed that 1% of the tax revenue generated by iGaming will fund responsible gambling and treatment of problem gambling.


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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