Governor Wes Moore of Maryland recently signed two regulatory sports betting bills into law. Senate Bill 620 eliminates a college or university’s right to partner with or profit off a sportsbook, while Senate Bill 621 dictates that an evaluator approved by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) must assess a sportsbook’s partnered content.
Gaming America reached out to the MLGCA and received correspondence from Seth Elkin, its Assistant Director of Communications for Public Affairs.
When asked what the deciding factors were concerning banning partnerships with colleges and universities, Elkin commented, “We can’t speak on behalf of the legislators who wrote the bill or the colleges that terminated their partnerships. The US sports wagering landscape is still evolving and we support efforts to ensure that it is marketed responsibly.”
The University of Maryland and PointsBet sportsbook have recently ended a partnership.
Sportsbook-partnered content, created by ‘influencers’ and experts in the field will be under more scrutiny, as per Senate Bill 621. As for the criteria on which sports betting content will be evaluated, Elkin told Gaming America, “Senate Bill 621 does not establish how sports betting content is to be evaluated.
“It’s not Maryland Lottery and Gaming’s role to perform the evaluations or determine who qualifies as an expert or influencer. The bill simply authorizes us to license evaluators who will review the content produced by experts or influencers.
"Our role will be to conduct background investigations of individuals and businesses that are seeking to become licensed evaluators.”
Sports betting marketing will, however, still be generally permitted. Maryland-based Crab Sports operates a mobile sportsbook with a focus on the Old Line State. Sporting goods merchandiser-turned-sportsbook Fanatics also plans to launch in Maryland as early as next month.
Elkin said that the passage of these bills will not impact Fanatics’ launch date. PointsBet Group Managing Director & Group CEO Sam Swanell recently spoke exclusively on the GI Huddle about Fanatics' $150m acquisition of PointsBet's US operations.