Maryland Legislature

  • The Maryland General Assembly needs to pass a bill for the landscape of their regulated sports wagering market by April 12.
  • House Bill 940 is a bill that passed in the House and is presently in the Senate awaiting passage for it to offer 15 mobile sportsbook licenses and 22 retail licenses.
  • Amendments could be made to House Bill 940 that would allow unlimited licenses for both land-based and mobile sports betting platforms before the session adjourns if lawmakers chose to go that route.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Maryland is still on the hook to pass the regulatory framework for their sports betting industry that was passed by voters in November and chatter is happening that a bill with no cap on sportsbooks of any kind is floating around.

The Maryland General Assembly adjourns for 2021 on Monday with legislation for the market requiring passage before the end of the session.

Should Maryland pass a bill with no cap on mobile sportsbooks and retail locations, they’d become the first state in the sports wagering industry of the nation to offer unlimited operators in both areas of the market.

The Bill On The Scene

House Bill 940 is the proposal that already passed in the House and has been in the process of seeking Senate approval before the end of the legislative session. The first and last hearing in the Senate occurred on March 25. This proposal would clear the path for an amended total of 37 sports betting operators in the state for gambling on sports.

Fifteen mobile sportsbooks would be open under MD HB 940 with the other 22 licenses being given to operators of land-based establishments.

But why are we discussing House Bill 940 if there is a rumor of a proposal with unlimited sports betting opportunities for Maryland being heard? Because there are four days left in the session and should there be any truth to that rumor, the legislative process to clear both chambers of the General Assembly would need to be expedited.

Now, should lawmakers decide to amend MD HB 940 to make it so that it offers no cap on brick-and-mortar sports betting as well as mobile sports betting, that could go much faster as the limited timeframe requires.

Since the House already passed the measure, the proposal would simply need to revisit the House for another vote on the amended version, and being that it is in the Senate already, the vote could be done as soon as the bill were to be placed on the schedule of the Maryland General Assembly.

What’s Next?

Maryland will pass a sports betting bill by April 12 that will receive the signature of Governor Larry Hogan. At this point, all signs point to it being House Bill 940.

However, within the next few days, Marylanders will have to wait and see if their sports wagering industry will be unlimited through a new bill or amendments to the current proposal. If not, 15 online operators and 22 retail sportsbooks will have to suffice for the Maryland sports wagering industry in 2021.

Any bill that passes will be fully enacted to go live on June 1, giving operators plenty of time to roll out for the 2021 football season.

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