Maryland Seeks to Prevent Online Gambling On Campuses

One lawmaker introduced a bill to permit online gambling in Maryland. Another prevents college students from participating in online gambling on campus grounds.

Maryland Seeks to Prevent Online Gambling On Campuses

Most states with sports betting laws bar wagers on in-state college and university games. Maryland seeks to add a wrinkle to the mix by banning online gambling anywhere on an in-state campus.

Delegate Pamela Queen introduced HB 1087 in early February. It was referred to a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee.

The proposal prohibits online gambling while on campus at an institution of higher education in the state as of August 1, 2024; creates a geofence around the perimeter of the campus that prevents online gambling if you tried; and necessitates each school develop a written policy online explaining the law.

The Queen bill comes a week after Rep. Vanessa Atterbeary introduced an online casino bill in the House following one in the state Senate.

Queen’s bill seeks to offer protection to college age students considered more susceptible than older groups to get into trouble with problem gambling.

Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), previously told PlayUSA:

“Players have the highest rates of gambling participation, the lowest rates in our survey of gambling literacy. They don’t think about budgeting as much. They have all sorts of myths that distorted thinking around their odds of winning.”

Students still have access to gambling through unregulated offshore apps.

Despite the separation of college from sportsbooks, Maryland is doing quite well. Sportsbooks generated $80 million in gross sports betting revenue in January, the second best since the state went live in November 2022.

Gaming revenue for Maryland operators came close to $55 million, the new record. The state earned $8.2 million based on a 15 percent tax. This marked an increase of close to 300 percent over January 2023.

Since November 2022, sports wagering has produced

  • $61 million towards the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund
  • $2.8 million to the Problem Gambling Fund