Gambling Legislation

Maryland is exploring expanded online gambling options

Maryland’s gaming regulator wants to figure out how to introduce legal online casinos

In the 2023 legislative session, Maryland tried and failed to introduce online gambling to its voters. However, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission (MLGC) now has a different strategy. It has initiated a thorough investigation to assess the potential for legalizing online casinos and poker platforms through different methods.

State Senator Ronald L. Watson, the sponsor of bill 2023 (SB 267) aimed at legalizing online gambling in Maryland, supports the initiative. Despite lacking sufficient support in the previous legislative session, the senator remains optimistic that the study’s results will sway more lawmakers into backing online casinos.

Maryland’s current legislation strictly forbids gambling, so any future adjustments in this regard will ultimately depend on the consent of the voters. The MLGC, accountable for conducting the study, intends to collaborate with external institutions to provide additional research support in vital subject areas.

The study encompasses various focal points, namely, assessing the extent of the online casino industry in Maryland, scrutinizing the influence it has on preexisting casino establishments, evaluating its potential effect on the state’s lottery system, delving into the correlation between online casinos and problem gambling, as well as reviewing data from other states that have legalized online casinos. The Maryland General Assembly requires the submission of the study outcomes by November 15.

In the event that research demonstrates the advantageous effects of legalizing online gambling on the state, Senator Watson and his advocates may reintroduce a modified bill during the legislative session of 2024. Once authorized, this bill shall be placed on the ballot, affording the citizens of Maryland the authority to determine the destiny of online gambling within the state during the upcoming 2024 election.

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