- The topic of Maryland sports betting is getting plenty of focus as the General Assembly needs to greenlight a proposal for the structure of the industry by April 12.
- Millions of dollars are expected to be seen in annual revenue from a seasoned sports wagering market in Maryland.
- Amendments to House Bill 940 would allow more sportsbook licenses to be made available across the board which would turn into more revenue and a more competitive business model for the state.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The people of Maryland were heard when it came to their request for more legal sports betting licenses with the introduction of a newly amended bill on Friday that would do just that.
Legal Maryland sports betting came by a public majority vote in November which has given the 2021 Maryland General Assembly the task of coming up with rules and regulations for the new industry.
Proposals like that of House Bill 940 are currently getting time on the floor for lawmakers to decide on the path and structure they would like to see for the sports gaming market in Maryland.
The House Ways and Means Committee was in charge of drafting the bill to be presented, which they were able to do with the amended number of sports wagering licenses in place. A unanimous vote on the legislation will now allow it to move forward within the House committees for discussions and further approvals.
House Bill 940 Details
There are quite a few bills that all want to play a part in the general landscape of the Maryland sports wagering industry. However, MD HB 940 is the latest draft at the forefront, and with it will come a mirroring bill within the Senate that has not yet been released.
Rather than the original ten sports betting licenses that would be given out to Class A businesses like professional sports venues, casinos, and horse racetracks, the newly amended bill allows for twelve.
Class B licenses, which are none of the above types of establishments, jumped from five eligible locations to ten under the new proposal. The number of mobile sportsbook platform operations also went up by five, for a total of fifteen internet operators in Maryland should MD HB 940 pass without further amendments.
Lawmakers believe that the Assembly should be pleased to see the amount of Class B licenses up because that is specifically geared toward minority opportunities which have been an important aspect of the new market. Maryland would like to give minority-owned businesses and women, in particular, a place within the legal sports gaming sector.
Residents of locally owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, previously stated the minimal number of Class B licenses would hinder their participation in the industry. The new proposal has doubled that number, rectifying the matter.
“Nowhere in the union has a sports bill been put together like we are doing here in the state of Maryland, which gives greater opportunity for minorities to participate,” said Del. Darryl Barnes *] (D-Prince George’s), the head of the Legislative Black Caucus and a member of the Ways & Means panel.
Up Ahead For Maryland
Legal sports betting in Maryland is something that will need to be expedited in terms of weighing in on the various bills open for legalization. The Maryland General Assembly will adjourn for 2021 on April 12. By then, a structure for the rules and regulations of the sports wagering market will need to be decided and presented to Governor Larry Hogan for signature.
After all is said and done, Marylanders could see a launch of their sports betting market before the end of 2021; it’s only a matter of which bill the Assembly will ultimately go with. No date has been scheduled yet for the next hearing of House Bill 940.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.