Legal Sports Betting Might Not Come to Maryland Until 2021
Maryland lawmakers have decided to skip legalizing gambling this year and instead, enshrine it into their constitution. That means an expansion of gambling to allow sports betting is going to take more than a little while. In fact, Maryland could be without sports betting for the next few years, which would be disappointing to the gambling proponents who are wanting the revenue to stay in state. This is a complete turnaround from the sentiment last December when many leaders thought that 2019 would be the year for legalizing sports betting.
A Constitutional Amendment Will Take Longer
During a time when other states are rushing to legalize sports gambling, Maryland officials appear to be totally content allowing time to go by as they take the slow approach. Late last week, the bill’s sponsor and the chairperson of a Senate Budget and Taxation Committee hearing on sports betting lasted only a few minutes. Senator Christopher West spoke to the committee, and said he knew the legislation wasn’t going anywhere this year:
“This bill is a constitutional amendment, and I’m aware now, at this point in the session, that there’s no intention to pass constitutional amendments this year. So this is by way of a preview of coming attractions of what you’ll get next year.”
Committee Chairwoman Nancy King thanked Mr. West and hurried other witnesses along. She agreed that his bill isn’t going any further this session.
Details About a Potential Bill
Maryland’s potential sports gambling legislation would direct 20 percent of revenue to the state and 80 percent would remain with operators. License fees would cost $300,000 and renewal fees, due every year, would cost $50,000. Fees from licenses would be allocated as follows: 80 percent to an education trust fund, 10 percent to a problem gambling trust fund, and the remaining 10 percent to local impact grants.
Sports Betting All Around Maryland
Between 1992 and 2018, sports betting outside of a few exempt states was a banned activity. However, in May of 2018, the law prohibiting sports betting, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), was deemed unconstitutional by the Justices of the Supreme Court. Their decision opened the door for individual states to legislate and regulate sports betting on a state level. Since the decision, a total of seven states have joined Nevada in offering legal sports gambling. Two more states have passed sports betting legislation but have not yet opened sportsbooks, and at least 20 more are working on legislation.
This is the second year in a row that Maryland legislators tried to enact legal sports gambling but were defeated. With this new failure, the state will not likely see any sports betting until 2021 at the very earliest. And, to make matters worse, Maryland residents have numerous options for going outside of the state to place sports bets.
Surrounding states like Pennsylvania and Delaware have already legalized sports betting and are enjoying the fruits of their labor. Washington DC has passed legislation and are in the process of finalizing their sports betting platform. Even states like West Virginia and New Jersey have already opened legal sportsbooks and sports betting apps.
Maryland is severely behind in sports betting and will continue to lose out on potential revenue as they take their time on new legislation. Furthermore, residents will continue to pour out their hard earned money into neighboring states just to place bets and gamble.
Back in April, the UK government announced a new “National Strategy” to...
People wanting to wager on sports bets in New York will have to attend one ...
On late-Wednesday night, a sports betting bill passed both the Maine House ...
Real-money online casino games are supposed to launch in mid-July, and the ...