Gambling Legislation

Maryland could consider online gambling expansion

Maryland could consider online gambling expansion

Rumors are surfacing that Maryland might authorize online table games

Maryland residents have voted to legalize slot machines, table games, and retail and online sports betting so far this century. Online table games could be next.

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency is currently studying legalizing online casino gaming, with their report expected in November. Prince George’s County state Senator Ron Watson is planning to introduce legislation in January to legalize online casinos, which may also include online lottery tickets.

Surrounding states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware currently offer online casinos, and Virginia has online lottery ticket sales. “Many view this as an additional revenue stream, currently projected to make between $30 million to $40 million,” said Watson.

The lottery commission’s study currently focuses on the impact online gaming may have in Maryland. It will recommend how the system should be structured if the bill passes in the legislature next year. Watson previously sponsored a bill to legalize online casinos earlier this year, which failed to make it further than the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.

Seven US states offer online casino gambling, which generated over $5 billion in revenue and close to $1.3 billion in taxes last year, according to The American Gaming Association. Revenue is up more than 22% to almost $3 billion through June 2023. However, around $338 billion was wagered illegally, totaling nearly $4 billion in lost tax revenue for states where online casinos are banned.

If Watson’s new bill is signed into law by Gov. Wes Moore, residents will still have to vote on the outcome in November. He expressed that Attorney General Anthony Brown has already specified that voters must approve the law by referendum because it would be another gambling expansion in the state.

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