Maryland voters made it clear last November that they support sports betting, but the industry is still not yet legal. Lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have introduced bills that would legalize this form of betting, and a final answer could be coming soon.
House Bill 940 is now in the Senate Committee, and that group heard testimony from witnesses on Thursday. This bill should eventually go in front of the entire Maryland Senate, and some changes will likely be made.
The House officially approved HB940 on March 11, and it could become a law if the Senate approves it as well. If amendments are made to the bill, then the House will have to take another look at it before it gets the final stamp of approval.
The Maryland sports betting bill breaks down sports betting licenses into three separate classes, and that is where much of the debate comes in. Casinos in Maryland will be able to apply for a license, but it’s unclear what the other classes of licenses will be.
D.C. Sports Betting Falling Flat
Washington D.C. could become a considerable threat to Maryland sports betting, and it has already taken the lead. Sports betting in Washington D.C. has seen little success since launch, and some interesting rules are holding that market back.
There is just one approved online sports betting operator in Washington D.C., which has sports bettors looking elsewhere to place their bets. With the terrible performance from D.C. sports betting, Maryland has a real chance to become a leader in sports betting in the region.
Online Sports Betting a Major Debate
If Maryland is going to achieve its full potential in the sports betting industry, then any future law must address and include online sports betting. The Maryland Live! Casino and Hotel is one of the properties that has supported sports betting from the beginning.
The Maryland Live! Casino might be a supporter of online sports betting, but it also wants to limit the number of sports betting licenses that are available in the state. Retail casinos have done very well up to this point in Maryland, but the market could quickly expand by allowing for in-person sports betting.
Virginia Taking the Lead
The status of sports betting as it relates to the Washington Football Team has been a major debate over the last two years. That franchise is looking to build a brand new stadium, and both Maryland and Virginia are hoping to become the chosen destination.
The Washington Football Team is looking to add retail sports betting to its new stadium location, and Maryland was in consideration. Virginia has previously authorized both retail and online sports betting, and that state is now in the driver’s seat.
Virginia is the preferred destination for the Washington Football Team, but the state legislature will need to act quickly if they want to gain the top asset in the race for sports betting. Wherever the new stadium ends up, it’s sure to provide significant revenue advantages.