A bill to legalize sports betting in Maryland has been passed by the Senate.

  • MD SB 4 would make both retail and mobile/internet platforms available for legal sports betting in Maryland.
  • The legal sports betting market in the Free State is estimated to bring in $20 million in revenue for their education system.
  • The bill will now move to the House for further consideration in its path to becoming a law.

BALTIMORE – On Tuesday, the Senate in Maryland passed MD SB 4, a bill that would make sports betting legal in the state. The bill passed on its third reading by a unanimous vote of (47-0). It will now be sent to the House with its first stop being the Ways and Means Committee.

MD HB 4 Details

Senator Craig Zucker (D) is the sponsor behind bill MD SB 4 which would allow sports betting through retail establishments as well as online and mobile applications. Both collegiate and professional sporting events would be open for bets. Other competitions are eligible to be wagered on as stipulated within the bill.

Land-based sportsbooks could be opened at six casinos and three racetracks for a total of nine sports betting lounges. There is a possibility of a tenth venue that would open inside the Washington Redskins Stadium.

Other sports betting locations like that of off-track betting businesses will have the ability to open sportsbooks with the partnership of a licensed venue like that of one of the six casinos.

Video Lottery facilities may also offer sports betting to their patrons. While the Baltimore Orioles and the Baltimore Ravens have not expressed interest in operating sportsbooks within their stadiums, the bill could be adjusted to include them in the House should they seek the opportunity.

The tax rate for MD SB 4 on all revenue accumulated from the sports betting market is set at 20%. The revenue gained has been spoken for with 19% of it going to the education system in Maryland while the other 1% will go toward funding the Minority Business Enterprise Program. Revenue estimates show about $20 million in yearly funds for the education system in the state.

Other Odds And Ends

There were amendments made before the bill unanimously passed. Any venue that has over 1,000 video lottery terminals will need to pay a licensing fee of $2.5 million. Establishments with less than 1,000 terminals have a lowered licensing fee of $1.5 million. Each sportsbook will then need to pay 25% of the initial fee every five years for license renewal.

The State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission will oversee the sports betting market in Maryland under MD SB 4. They will need to come up with the rules and regulations and implement them with sportsbook operators.

The legislative session ends on April 6. If the MD SB 4 passes in the House it would then move on to Governor Larry Hogan for his approval. After that, it would be put to a vote by the people of the Free State in November.

If it receives the majority vote, sports betting in Maryland may begin in 2020. For now, it has a hearing scheduled in the House Ways and Means Committee on March 19 at 1 p.m.

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