Each year, G.S. Proctor & Associates compiles for our clients a detailed report analyzing key developments in the legislative process affecting the issues and industries that matter most in the state of Maryland.
Here is a breakdown of this year’s key developments in the gaming industry. Select a link below to see additional areas of interest or download a PDF of the full report here.
On the last day of Session, lawmakers approved a measure to implement sports betting; a measure that Maryland voters supported, by referendum, by almost 2-to-1. The House of Delegates approved the initial effort 122-16 and, after numerous amendments, the Senate passed the measure 47-0 with the House concurring.
House Bill 940 allows sports wagering at casinos, three professional sports teams’ stadiums, horse racing tracks and other existing operators. The State also would allow up to 30 licenses for businesses of various types that want to offer sports betting and up to 60 more licenses for mobile/online betting. The number of licenses represents a compromise, after the Senate proposed lifting caps. The State expects to raise between $15 million and $19 million, annually, the bulk of which would pay for education via the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund (BMFF), a fund that supports expanded pre-kindergarten and expanded job readiness training for high schoolers. There are a number of provisions that will support the Minority and Women-Owned Businesses to engage in the industry; including the Small, Minority–Owned, and Women–Owned Business Sports Wagering Assistance Fund, which will be funded by a percentage of the larger organizations’ application fee. Additionally, two of the State’s Historically Black Colleges (Bowie State University and Morgan State University) will also receive an annual $1.5M to support training in the areas of data analytics and sports gaming to support minority students’ participation in the industry.
It is expected that those brick-and-mortar licensees will be operating in the Fall of this year while the Sports Wagering Awards Review Commission (SWARC), a seven-member commission that is established by the bill, will create the regulations and application process around the mobile licenses in the coming months. The bill also supports MBE participation by encouraging a “meaningful relationship with MBE partner” in the mobile licensing process.