Gambling Legislation

Maryland lawmakers meet to discuss online gambling

Maryland lawmakers meet to discuss online gambling

Lawmakers in Maryland are reportedly becoming increasingly serious about iGaming

Several top Maryland lawmakers and iGaming specialists assembled last week at the Morgan State University Center for Data Analytics and Sports Gaming Research for a panel discussion concerning the future of online gaming in the state.

The bulk of the panel’s discussions were about recent sports betting legislation, with the final 30 minutes discussing online casinos. Delegate Edith Patterson and former Delegate Darryl Barnes were both in attendance and believe there will be a push for online casino legalization soon. Becca Giden, director of policy for Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, shared the same feeling.

An online casino bill was introduced by Sen. Ron Watson during the 2023 legislative session that failed to move forward, but he expects to reintroduce a similar bill in 2024. The Maryland Lottery is also conducting a feasibility study using The Innovation Group, which will be shared with the General Assembly after it’s completed in November. Any expansion of gambling in Maryland would require a 2024 referendum.

Many legislators are hesitant to legalize mobile casino gaming so soon after online sports betting, saying it could possibly cause a surge in problem gambling.

While this issue is seen as one reason to avoid gambling expansion, implementing consumer protections and increasing state tax revenue are major positives by iGaming legislation proponents. Online casino gaming has also proven much more lucrative than mobile sports betting in states that offer both.

“It takes nearly three months of sports betting in West Virginia to raise enough revenue that we can do in one month with iGaming,” said West Virginia legislator Shawn Fluharty. He advised lawmakers that if Maryland legalizes online casino gaming, it’s critical that they figure out what to do with the flood of tax revenue.

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