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March 19, 2024

Maryland iGaming Bill Clears House Ahead of Crossover Deadline

Emily Thompson
Written byEmily ThompsonWriter
Researched byPriya PatelResearcher

Posted on: March 18, 2024, 03:29h.
Last updated on: March 18, 2024, 03:34h.

Maryland iGaming Bill Clears House Ahead of Crossover Deadline

Key Takeaways:

  • House Bill 1319, aiming to legalize iGaming in Maryland, passed the House of Delegates.
  • The bill faces strong opposition in the Senate, with concerns over its impact on state casinos.
  • iGaming could potentially generate significant tax revenue for Maryland.

In a significant move, the Maryland House of Delegates passed the iGaming legislation, House Bill 1319, just before the crucial ā€œcrossoverā€ deadline, setting the stage for a contentious battle in the Senate. Sponsored by Del. Vanessa Atterbeary, the bill seeks to revolutionize Maryland's gaming scene by introducing up to 30 online casino licenses, catering to the state's existing brick-and-mortar casinos and select other venues.

Despite clearing the House with a comfortable 92-43 vote, the bill's journey is far from over. It now heads to the Senate, where it faces stiff opposition, notably from Senate President Bill Ferguson, who has expressed concerns over the timing of expanding gaming in the state, especially in light of a 3% decline in retail slot and table win from the stateā€™s casinos last year.

The iGaming Proposal: An Overview

House Bill 1319 proposes a significant shake-up in Maryland's gaming landscape:

  • Licensing: Up to 30 online casino licenses are up for grabs, with the state's six physical casinos eligible for three "iGaming skins" each.
  • Revenue Sharing: The state is set to receive 55% of online slot wins and 20% of interactive table game revenues.
  • License Fees: An initial fee of $1 million per license, with renewals every five years at a cost pegged to the operator's revenue.

The Road Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities

The bill's passage in the House marks a pivotal moment for iGaming in Maryland, but the Senate's approval remains a significant hurdle. Despite potential economic benefits, including a substantial boost to the Maryland Education Trust Fund through new tax revenues, concerns linger over the impact on physical casinos and the broader implications for the state's residents.

As Maryland navigates these challenges, the outcome of HB 1319 could set a precedent for the future of iGaming in the state and potentially influence broader trends across the United States. With the clock ticking towards the April 8 deadline for Senate approval, all eyes are on Maryland's lawmakers as they weigh the risks and rewards of this groundbreaking proposal.

(First reported by: Name of Source, Date)

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Emily Thompson
Emily Thompson
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Emily "VegasMuse" Thompson is a seasoned online casino enthusiast from down under. With a keen eye for details and an inherent knack for strategizing, she has turned her passion for the online casino world into a successful writing career.

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