Sports Betting Expansion in Maryland Moves Forward

Maryland sports betting legalization continues to move forward. On Thursday this week, the House of Delegates approved a measure, proposing an increase of the sports wagering licenses from 22 to 37. The next step now is for the proposal to receive approval from the Senate.

House of Delegates Passes HB 940, the Measure Now Heads to Senate

Sports betting expansion in Maryland moved one step forward on Thursday this week. The House of Delegates approved HB 940 yesterday after a 130-9 vote. The bill, which proposes both online and retail sports betting in Maryland, was previously amended by the House and it is now heading to the Senate for further approval.

HB 940 proposes an increase of sports betting licenses from 22 to 37. Under the proposal, in-person sports betting would be allowed at the state’s six casinos. Furthermore, HB 940, proposes in-person betting to be offered at three of Maryland’s stadiums, where the Washington Football Team, the Baltimore Orioles baseball team, and the Baltimore Ravens play. The proposal also calls for in-person sports betting at horse racing tracks located in Laurel Park as well as Baltimore. In addition to the horse racing tracks, the Timonium fairgrounds and a “riverboat” off-track wagering facility on the Potomac River would also have a license.

Additional Licenses for Retail and Online Sports Betting

Besides Maryland’s casinos, stadiums, and horse race tracks, the bill proposes an additional 10 licenses for retail locations. Businesses interested in offering retail sports betting would be able to apply for those licenses. Minority-owned businesses and women that apply for such retail license will be treated with priority.

Retail aside, the bill would allow 15 more licenses for online sports wagering. Although the bill features plenty of retail possibilities, it is expected that most of the sports wagering action to be conducted online. Applicants interested in offering sports wagering in Maryland will be able to apply for both online and a retail license.

Furthermore, HB 940 proposes a 15% tax on sports betting revenue for operators which raise no more than $5 million. In case an operator raises higher revenue than $5 million, the tax rate changes to 17.5%. By legalizing the activity, Maryland is expected to raise $15 to $19 million annually from taxes. Those funds would then be used by the state to fund education.

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