Maryland House Introduces Sports Betting Bill

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Maryland voters said yes to sports betting on the November 2020 ballot, but without any specific regulations in place. The November vote simply asked the public to vote yes or no on whether the state should legalize sports betting, and the measure passed by a two-to-one margin.

Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones introduced a bill Tuesday that proposes an outline for the state’s legal sports betting industry.

House Bill 940 presents a structure that allows Maryland’s casinos and horse race tracks to apply for retail sports betting licenses. Land-based casinos and race tracks would pay $250,000 for a Class A license.

The bill also proposes ten mobile sports betting licenses for online-only operators. The mobile sports betting licenses come with a $500,000 fee for potential online sportsbook brands.

All sports betting licenses would be issued by a newly-formed Sports Wagering Application Review Commission. The licenses would be renewable every five years at a $10,000-$100,000 rate.

HB 940 outlines a 15% tax on retail sports betting revenue. The state would tax mobile sports wagering revenue at 15% on up to $5 million, then 17.5% on all revenue over that mark.

What Maryland Sports Betting Would Look Like Under HB 940

Maryland plays home to six casinos and five horse racetracks. All of these venues would be allowed to apply for a Class A license.

HB 940 also proposes up to five Class B licenses, with eligible applicants including operators that don’t qualify as casinos or racetracks. The Class B licenses would carry a $50,000 entry fee.

The ten mobile sports wagering licenses would likely draw sports betting biggest brands to Maryland. FanDuel and DraftKings spent a combined $750,000 on pro-sports betting media campaigns in the weeks leading up to the November election.

Online sportsbooks, if approved for launch, project to generate the majority of revenue for Maryland’s sports betting industry. New Jersey and Pennsylvania, two of the three biggest sports betting markets in the US, saw 90 percent of revenue come from mobile wagering in the second half of 2020. 

About the Author

Geoff Fisk

Geoff Fisk is a San Diego-based freelance writer, specializing in the poker and gambling industries. He’s written for numerous platforms and has traveled the globe as a live poker tournament reporter. Geoff is an avid sports fan, but poker is his passion.

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