On the last day of the legislative session, Maryland lawmakers cleared compromise enabling legislation for the state’s sports betting industry, after House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on the rules under which sports betting will be conducted.
The compromise bill passed both chambers easily, with votes of 47-0 in the Senate and 122-16 in the House.
Among the changes to the House and Senate-passed bills was the restoration of limits on the number of sports betting licenses to be issued. The Senate had removed all limits on licenses from the House-approved measure. The compromise bill provides for 30 retail sports betting licenses for businesses, and 60 online/mobile licenses. It also allows sportsbooks at casinos, and daily wagering at the state’s three professional sports stadiums and racetracks.
Sports betting would be taxed at a rate of 15 percent for mobile/online platforms and 13 percent for retail operations, and all funds would go toward education costs or problem gambling initiatives.
“By December 1, 2025, we’ll revisit it to see if there’s more licenses that need to be issued to meet demand,” state Senator Craig Zucker told the Associated Press.
Under the compromise bill, expected to be signed by Governor Larry Hogan, the state would issue 10 licenses to the state’s larger casinos, Laurel Park racetrack and the three professional sports teams. as well as off-track betting locations, the Maryland State Fair, and two larger electronic bingo facilities.
Thirty “Class B” licenses would be offered on a competitive basis to sports bars, restaurants, smaller tracks and other businesses wanting to offer on-site betting.
Maryland voters approved sports wagering by a 2-to-1 margin in November’s general election.