February 27, 2024 3 min read


Online Gambling Legalization Talks in Maryland Continue

While lawmakers and the industry anticipate an increase in revenues from iGaming, opponents fear job cuts and problem gambling

The debate on the benefits and drawbacks of the legalization of online gambling continues in Maryland. On one side, the state’s lawmakers along with the support from the gambling industry highlight the additional revenue iGaming can bring while offering users a legal form of online gambling. Opponents of the iGaming legalization fear the statewide expansion of the activity may result in job cuts and reduced revenues for the sector, all while increasing the rate of problem gambling.

At a Monday meeting, Vanessa Atterbeary, Maryland’s House Ways and Means Committee chair, introduced a new bill, proposing the legalization of iGaming activities. Under her proposal, there would be a dozen licensed online gambling operators in the state. Each licensee would be subject to a licensee fee of $1 million. iGaming licenses would be awarded for five years and at the end of this year, a five-year renewal fee equal to 1% of the average annual revenue of the licensee would be applicable.

When it comes to taxation, Atterbeary’s proposal features two different tax rates. Online gambling operators that offer only iGaming activities would be subject to a 55% tax. However, iGaming licensees that also offer live-dealer games would be subject to a 20% tax rate. It is likely that this provision seeks to encourage more operators to engage in live dealer games, creating new jobs in the process.

When introducing her proposal, Atterbeary explained: “Contrary to what you may have heard, the sky will not fall if iGaming is implemented in the state of Maryland,” as reported by the Daily Record. According to her, the new proposal would help fund Maryland’s Blueprint, an ambitious plan that seeks to reform the state’s public education. The plan has a price tag of a whopping $40 billion.

Opponents Warn iGaming Will Result in Job Cuts

Under Atterbeary’s proposal, 1% of the collected iGaming tax would be dedicated toward treating problem gambling, 1% would fund educational programs for local governments and 1% would also benefit the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. All other proceeds are expected to boost the state’s Blueprint plan.

Randall Conroy, Horseshoe Baltimore’s general manager, was among the supporters of the legalization of online gambling. As a supporter, he said: “I would not be up here if I had thought there (would be) a job loss.”

However, not everyone agrees with the proposed legalization of online gambling. A representative for Live! Casino Hotel Maryland who participated in the meeting on Monday deemed iGaming a “bad deal” for the state. They added that while the company may benefit financially from online gambling, the legalization of the activity may result in decreasing revenue and job cuts.

A similar position was expressed by The Cordish Companies’ executive VP and general counsel, Mark Stewart. He predicted that iGaming legalization may result in thousands of residents of Maryland losing their jobs.


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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