Maryland to consider legalizing iGaming and poker

January 11, 2024
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State regulators are studying whether opening the market could boost the local economy.

The state of Maryland is gearing up to consider expanding its regulated gaming market to include online gambling, according to a local report in The Baynet.

State Senator Ron Watson has put together a bill that would legalize online gaming, as well as poker. Watson plans to present the bill to lawmakers later this week, according to the report.

Online gaming has been on the radar for the past several months. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency has studied the effect online gaming could have on the state.

Maryland’s state deficit has reached $400m. Watson said he believes regulated iGaming could be helpful in generating revenue that could alleviate this deficit.

But this is not the first time iGaming has been on the table in Maryland. Senator Watson proposed a similar bill last year to implement iGaming.

However, the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee did not move forward with the bill.

Those opposed to the bill say they are concerned that “online gambling could potentially put the jobs of casino workers in jeopardy,” the local report said.

Should Watson’s latest bill pass in the legislature, online gaming revenue would be taxed 46.5%. The state currently brings in revenue from Maryland’s six casinos, as well as from fantasy sports and statewide sports betting.

Maryland’s sportsbooks also contribute 15% of all taxable wins to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund. The organization supports public education programs around the state.

Retail sports betting has been legal in the state of Maryland since 2021. The state opened its online sports wagering market in 2022.

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