Maryland House Approves Sports Betting Implementation Bill

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Associated Press
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Sports betting would be allowed online, at Maryland's six casinos and the stadiums where the state's three major professional sports teams play, as well as horse racing tracks, under a measure approved Thursday by the House of Delegates.

The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would allow 22 locations where people could place bets in person.

In addition to casinos, the three stadiums that are home to the Baltimore Ravens, the Washington Football Team and the Baltimore Orioles baseball team could have sports betting sites.

Horse racing tracks at Pimlico in Baltimore and Laurel Park, as well as the state fairgrounds in Timonium would be able to have licenses. Another license would be allowed at a “riverboat” off-track betting facility on the Potomac River in Charles County.

The measure would allow 10 more licenses for in-person locations that would be open to applicants.

Fifteen licenses would be allowed for online wagering on the internet, where most of the wagering is expected to happen. Businesses could apply for licenses for both on-line sites and mobile ones online.

Wagers on professional and college sports would be allowed, as well as international sporting events such as the Olympics. Fantasy sports wagering also would be allowed, in which people coach imaginary teams online.

The state expects to raise between $15 million and $19 million annually from sports betting that would be used to help pay for education. The bill would take effect June 1.

Under the measure, the licensee would keep about 85% of sports-betting revenue on the first $5 million in revenue and 82.5% of revenue over $5 million. The rest of the revenue generated from sports betting would go to the state.

The measure, sponsored by House Speaker Adrienne Jones, would create a commission with the power to boost minority participation when licenses are awarded.

Sports betting was approved in a November ballot question with 67% support of voters in the state.

Many states near Maryland, including Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Virginia, have approved sports betting since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a ban on it in 2018.

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