Maryland State House.

  • House Bill 940 that would set the landscape for legal sports betting in Maryland has been passed in the House and will now go before the Senate.
  • With the passage from the Senate, MD HB 940 and its legalized sports gaming would go into effect on June 1.
  • This legislation has a combined total of 37 sports wagering licenses up for grabs in Maryland in three separate categories.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – On Thursday, after its third reading in the House, a sports betting bill was passed by a vote of 130-9 in the Maryland General Assembly that will now move the legislation to the Senate for approval.

House Bill 940 had its second reading on Wednesday where it was passed with amendments but a vote was not taken.

Maryland legalized sports wagering in November 2020 by a majority vote of 67% but this bill would set up the legal and operational structure on which the industry would run.

What Version Of House Bill 940 Will The Senate See?

House Bill 940 offers Maryland a total of 37 sports betting licenses as stated in the amended draft that is moving onto the Senate. There will be twelve Class A licenses for professional sports organizations (where at least three stadiums will be licensed sports betting venues) and other facilities like casinos and race tracks to apply for.

Mobile sportsbook licenses are capped at fifteen from the original ten. This gives operators like DraftKings the eligibility to open their applications for sports betting to Marylanders.

But the biggest win for the proposal was the offering of ten Class B licenses. These licenses will give priority to women-owned or minority-owned businesses that want to try their hand at the sports wagering market.

Under MD HB 940, operators would be able to hold 85% of their profits for the initial $5 million made in revenue and after that, they’d keep 82.5% once they’ve exceeded $5 million in revenue.

Of this money, $15-$19 million of it is earmarked to go directly toward Maryland’s education system annually. Beyond that number, should revenue exceed $19 million each year, the remaining funds would go to the state and be dispersed accordingly.

It is believed that most sports betting will take place with the fifteen online and mobile sportsbook operators for Maryland as is typically the case around the nation. Professional, collegiate, international, and DFS are all areas open for wagers with this legislation.

Now What?

House Bill 940 will now go before the Senate where it will be discussed and voted on. All indications show that it will be approved to become law as Maryland is in need of a structure in the form of a bill passage before the adjournment of the session on April 12.

Once Governor Larry Hogan signs off on House Bill 940, it will be enacted into law on June 1. This means that the sports bettors of Maryland could be seeing local sports betting options open up to them by this summer.

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