The state of Maryland is preparing to enter the sports betting market. Several proposals to legalize sports betting in the US State seem to pass the final stages in legalization. If passed, the legislation would provide for one license for “retailers” and two licenses for online casino lotteries. The state has several major gaming operators that might be interested in getting involved before online betting goes live. Even though the bill is yet to pass, it seems a green light is coming soon after deliberation. Find out what this means for sports betting industry below. 

Current State of Sports Betting in Maryland 

After years of legal wrangling and legislative debate, sports betting could be legal in Maryland. The state will launch a sports betting program with both retail and online betting options. This is according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. But residents of the state can’t place a bet until early next year. They can expect to see multiple retail sportsbooks and online sportsbooks coming up. Maryland sports betting means casinos and racetracks likely to get into the sports betting business. Thus, it will take a short time before the industry grows. 

Is it Legal to Gamble in Maryland? 

Sports betting in Maryland is not yet legal. But a recent Supreme Court ruling opened the door for states to legalize sports betting. Several states are moving quickly to make it happen soon. In Maryland, both houses of the legislature have advanced measures that would authorize sports betting at casinos and racetracks. Gaming proponents were pleased with the progress in Annapolis taking center stage. They were also warning that Maryland could lose out if it doesn’t act soon. Furthermore, there was striking down of the federal law that barred sports betting in Maryland. 

What Does the New Law Entail? 

Even though it is not law, there are proposals to control sports betting in Maryland. State delegate Eric in partnership with state senator Craig are working hard with releasing proposals for sports betting in the state. Although Zucker had previously opposed betting, he’s now a co-sponsor of the new bill. A proposed state statute would permit legal sports betting, with a 10% tax rate on annual gross revenues. The state lottery commission would govern the industry. However, it would not be required that sports bettors purchase a lottery ticket to place a wager. 

Are Other States Involved? 

Six states currently have legalized sports betting at the time of writing. This includes Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Rhode Island and New Jersey. West Virginia joined the club in August but hasn’t started yet. Several other states considered legislation to legalize sports betting. None of these states are yet to live with sports betting at the time of writing. Maryland has no plans to add additional states to the handful that already have a sports betting law, but the bill would require any sports betting operator to partner with an existing land-based casino in Maryland. 

What is the Tax Rate? 

A considerable part of the discussion about the proposed sports betting bill regards a proposed tax rate of 20% on gross gaming revenue. This would be the highest tax rate in the United States. Currently, Nevada is the only state with legal sports betting, and their tax rate is 6.75%. Moreover, Maryland will fall behind other states that legalize sports betting. The high tax rate will limit profits for Maryland casinos, forcing them to adjust their business models. This may include limiting the number of games offered or types of bets taken by gamblers. 

What Remains? 

There still remains scanty details regarding the legalization of sports betting in Maryland. The bill, SB 4, will now go to the full Senate for consideration. No timeline remains set. If it passes there, it will be sent to the House Ways and Means Committee. Representatives from FanDuel, DraftKings and other gambling sites testified in favor of the bill. The Maryland Stadium Authority and some professional sports leagues also gave their support. Under a new bill, any of the six Maryland casinos could offer sports betting in-person and online when partnered with an existing sportsbook. 

Sports betting in Maryland is good news for the casino industry, which will likely see an influx of new gamblers upon implementation. Casinos that offer sports betting, including MGM National Harbor, The Casino at Ocean Downs and Hollywood Casino Perryville, all stand to benefit from this development. The governor has yet to ratify the bill. However, if it does so before the end of May, it seems likely that sports betting could be available in casino properties within the next few months. The latest sport betting proposal will truly shape up the betting industry.