Maryland Senate

  • Last week, SB 297 – a bill creating geographic sportsbook licensing restrictions – was filed in the Maryland Senate by Senators Ron Young and Michael Hough.
  • The bill would restrict the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission from issuing licenses to venues within certain distances from already-licensed sportsbook facilities.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – A new bill filed in the Maryland Senate last week could potentially make major changes to the state’s newly-launched sports betting industry.

The bill – SB 297 – was sponsored by Sen. Ron Young and Sen. Michael Hough and would create a set of new rules for license issuance by the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission.

The first rule that SB 297 would institute is a prohibition of issuing licenses to venues within a 15-mile radius of any Class A-1 or A-2 sportsbook in Allegany, Cecil, or Worcester County. In Maryland, venues that qualify as Class A-1 legal sports betting facilities include the state’s three professional sports venues and casinos with over 1,000 slot machines.

Casino venues with fewer than 1,000 slot machines plus the state’s racino facilities qualify for Class A-2 licenses.

The second rule would prohibit the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission from issuing licenses to facilities within a 10 mile radius of any Class B-1 or B-2 facility in Calvert, Carrol, Frederick, or Washington County. Venues that qualify for Maryland’s Class B-1 sports betting license include the Maryland State Fairgrounds and commercial bingo venues that pay the requisite application fee. Facilities that qualify as B-2 sports betting venues include businesses with no less than 25 full-time employees or at least $3 million in gross annual sales.

The final restriction the bill would place on the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission is a prohibition on issuing licenses to any facility within a 1.5-mile radius from any class A-1, A-2, B-1, or B-2 legal sports betting venue in any other county.

If the bill were to pass, the new rules for Maryland’s legal sports betting industry would be instituted on June 1, 2022.

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