By Lewis Gould
A bill in the Maryland House would allow in-person sports betting operators to keep 85% of their proceeds with the remaining 15% going to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund, which will help pay for sweeping education reforms.
Bettors would need to be at least 21 years old and would have to place bets within the state of Maryland, whether they were wagering at an in-person sportsbook or using an online or mobile platform.
Bill 940, filed early this month by House Speaker Adrienne Jones, provides a legislative framework for sports betting in Maryland, which voters authorized with a referendum last year. The measure would allow both casinos and race tracks — which have previously battled for control over sportsbooks — to each have a piece of the action.
HB 940 is the first of what could be several proposals as legislators work to hammer out the logistics for sports betting. Maryland voters decided in November to authorize sports wagers, joining more than a dozen states that allow betting on athletics, but left most of the fine print for legislators to decide afterwards, the Baltimore Business Journal reports.
Under the measure, the state’s six casinos would be eligible for a Class A license, as well as Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park race track and the Timonium Race Track. A Class B license would allow up to five other facilities to host sports wagering, as well, as long as they are located more than 10 miles away from any Class A operator.
The legislation opens the door to placing game-day bets at Maryland football and baseball stadiums, through partnerships with local casinos.
Mobile sports wagering — which in other states has been the busiest platform for sports betting — would be counted as a separate privilege, and both Class A and Class B operators would be eligible to apply for up to 10 available licenses. Several of the state’s casinos have already signaled this is their intention: The Cordish Cos., which owns Hanover’s Live Casino and Hotel, announced a partnership with FanDuel in 2019, and Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino recently said it has chosen British bookmaker and gaming app William Hill as a partner in its pursuit of a gaming license.