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Maryland set to be next US state to legalize online casinos

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Maryland set to be next US state to legalize online casinos

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The Maryland House has passed an iGaming authorization bill which will now proceed to the Senate. If passed, Maryland could become the latest state to legalize online casinos.

The House voted 92-43 to pass the HB 1319 ‘Internet Gaming – Authorization and Implementation’ bill, two days before the deadline.

Now, the Senate has less than a month to pass the bill with the general assembly set to adjourn on April 8.

The HB 1319 plans would allow for up to 30 wagering licenses to be issued across the state, with each license lasting for five years and an initial application fee of $1 million.

Three types of licenses could be available for operators, including licenses by right for brick-and-mortar casinos, Class B wagering facility licenses, and competitively-awarded licenses.

This comes after House leaders at the Maryland General Assembly shared a $1.3 billion plan on Friday (Mar. 15) for new state revenues to pay future education and transportation costs.

The Old Line State is expected to have the best shot at passing an online casino bill this year. Maine is the only other state that is currently considering legalizing it.

Reactions to possible online casino bill in Maryland

There are concerns about the potential loss of jobs and a decline in retail casino revenue.

In February, SBC Americas reported that Sage Policy Group CEO Anirban Basu expressed his opinion to the committee: “There’s cannibalization with respect to casinos, but that’s where the issue starts…

“Because when you’re spending money on iGaming that’s when you do not have to spend elsewhere in the economy.”

Studies have been carried out to see how this could impact on the state and its residents.

One study suggests that retail casino revenue could take a drastic hit if iGaming is to be implemented. While another, by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, dismisses these claims and suggests iGaming could boost revenue for brick-and-mortar operators.

Featured Image: Photo by Terry Granger on Unsplash

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