The Maryland gaming market may add to its arsenal since the mobile sports betting market launched during Thanksgiving weekend. Sen. Ron Watson and Sen.Nancy King introduced SB 267 ( Authorization and Implementation Act), this week.
What’s in the Writing in the Bill?
This will be another selective process as only six casinos will qualify to pursue an iGaming license in the Old Line State, signaling a high barrier to entry. These locations include MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino & Hotel, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, Rocky Gap Casino Resort, Ocean Downs Casino, and Hollywood Casino Perryville.
However, the bill cannot be enacted right away because of a voter-approved ballot referendum. It must fall In accordance with Article XIX of the Maryland Constitution; that is why this will be a longer process than usual. However, bettors in the state have waited over two years to participate in online sports betting, so residents are used to the process.
The general election will be held in the next election cycle, which will be held in November 2024. A proposed referendum question states, “Do you favor the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland to authorize internet gaming for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education?”
The casinos that receive an approved license will be subject to a $500,000 fee every five years while being subject to a 15 percent tax rate. The tax receipts will go toward the state’s Education Trust Fund (ETF).
Before the initiative reaches the ballot, the iGaming measure must gain two-thirds of the support from each of the state’s chambers. Gaining a super majority isn’t an easy task by any means. For example, neither Prop 26 nor 27 came close to reaching 51 percent of the public in California during the Midterm election.
Responsible Gaming Will Become a Priority
With new betting options and the possibility of the iGaming sector joining the market, states have taken the initiative to promote responsible gaming. Some of the commissions that are responsible for monitoring the situation have asked for more funding as states continue to bring in record tax receipts.
In addition, iGaming has become the “talk of the city” these last few weeks. If the Empire State passes a bill, this could have a national effect on the industry. The state may introduce new amendments to its own constitution that could affect the sports and iGaming markets moving forward. The Tribes in the state may also have a seat.
Maryland’s neighboring state, Pennsylvania, has taken advantage of the situation. Each of Pennsylvania’s casinos seeking iGaming privileges had to pay $1 million to get online. A $100,000 renewal fee is charged every five years for the licenses. The Keystone State levies a higher tax rate on gross revenue but has that the sector is exceeding expectations.
Maryland Will Have to Wait a While
At this moment, bettors in the Old Line State will have to wait a while, but they are used to waiting to get involved. Until then, the sports betting industry has more room to grow by 2025.
The iGaming will most likely launch by 2025 if everything goes according to plan.