Following the widespread expansion of legal sports betting across the United States, lawmakers in various states are now considering the legalization of online gambling activities, also known as iGaming. The move is seen as a potential source of valuable tax revenue and a legal way for individuals to gamble.
Maryland is one of the states currently in the process of legalizing iGaming. Senator Ronald Watson recently introduced Senate Bill 603 (SB 603), which proposes the legalization of online gambling across the state. This bill marks Senator Watson’s latest effort toward iGaming and follows similar legislation that failed to progress last year.
If SB 603 gains traction, Maryland voters will have the opportunity to vote for or against the proposal in November. The bill aims to establish a competitive online gambling market in the state, allowing Maryland’s six casino operators to partner with up to two online gambling platforms. This provision is expected to promote the growth of the iGaming sector along with the existing retail offering.
Under SB 603, the taxation of iGaming activities would be set at 47% of the proceeds, with licensed operators retaining 53% of their revenues. A portion of the proceeds collected from iGaming would be dedicated to combating problem gambling and supporting the state lottery, with the majority of the revenue benefiting Maryland’s Future Fund, which supports education throughout the state. Additionally, iGaming operators would have the opportunity to build and operate live gaming studios, potentially creating new job opportunities across Maryland.
In addition to retail casino gambling, Maryland already offers online sports betting. In fact, the state recently set a new record with $559.9 million in betting handle, surpassing the previous record of $550.7 million.
If the proposed legislation moves forward, Maryland could become the latest state to legalize iGaming, joining other important markets such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. This move could potentially bring in significant tax revenue and create new job opportunities in the state.