Could Caesars’ Maryland Get the Needed Sports Betting License?
Maryland is slowly getting there when it comes to making sports betting available in the state. Taking a slow and step-by-step procedure is perhaps the right way to go when something so complex as sports betting legislature is created, but some casinos in the area would like to speed things up.
Namely, Caesar’s Maryland casino is not doing well, and offering sports betting could really help this property create a new and desperately needed revenue stream.
The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee of Maryland unanimously approved the sports betting legislation on Tuesday. This created the basis for the further development of sports betting in the area. However, before that, the full Senate debate needs to take place, as well as a vote.
Moreover, the House of Delegates will have to approve the bill before the conclusion of the current session of Assembly, which will end on April 8.
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Even if the bill is passed all the way, and Governor Larry Hogan inks the approval, the voters will ultimately have to decide whether sports betting should be allowed or not in the state of Maryland. The future expansion of gambling and its destiny would be put in front of the voters as a separate ballot question during the elections that would take place in November.
SB4, which is the name of the sports betting legislation of Maryland, contains the information about licenses which should be awarded to the six casinos in the state. In addition to the casinos, the properties that would also be allowed to run sports betting include the Pimlico and Laurel racetracks, the proposed Washington Redskins’ stadium, and the State Fairgrounds in Timonium.
Apart from brick-and-mortar places where sports bettors could go and place bets, they would also be able to do it using their PCs or mobile devices. Namely, the legislation also covers digital wagering as a part of the gambling expansion in the state.
What About the Tax in Maryland?
All sports betting operators will have to pay a 20% tax on their betting revenue, according to SB4. Moreover, there will be 25% taxes for OTBs, and a license fee structure that will be tiered. Namely, casinos that have more than a thousand slots in their offer will have to pay $2.5 million upfront for the license.
On the other hand, venues that offer less than 1,000 slots will have to pat $1.5 million to be able to acquire sports betting permission.
The two racetracks mentioned above will have to split their cost for one $2.5 million license. Moreover, the Redskins will have to pay $2.5 million as well, but the Fairgrounds will pay $1.5 million.
One of the casinos in Maryland needs this addition to their offer very badly. Namely, according to the statistics released a couple of days ago by the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Agency, the revenue from casinos statewide reached $151.3 million. It is 10.6% more compared to the same month last year. Moreover, it is the highest ever since August 2019.
Five casinos recorded a year-on-year revenue gain. However, one casino seems to have trouble keeping up with them, and that’s Caesars Entertainment’s Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, which reported a decline of 13.3% year-on-year.
In fact, it has reached an all-time low with $17.9 million earned last month. The reported decline was mainly due to poor performance of table games, which reported a decline of almost a quarter year-on-year. Therefore, sports betting could really help this casino get back in the game.