Maryland Still Debating iGaming

The online casino industry is expected to grow at some point in 2024, and there are a number of states that could get something done. Maryland is one of those states, and an online casino bill was just passed from the House to the Senate over the weekend.

House Bill 1319 needed at least 60% support before it was able to move out of the House of Delegates, and that’s exactly what it received after an official vote. There were some concerns about the vote, but some amendments made the bill more favorable in the eyes of many committee members. 

This bill will now be sent to the Senate in Maryland, where it is expected to suffer a pretty quick defeat. Things can always change with lawmakers, and those in favor of the bill will point to the fact that the state needs a new revenue source. 

There are parts of this bill that are extremely confusing after the new amendments, but commercial casinos would be given the opportunity to apply for an online skin. Maryland Senators have already shut down one iGaming bill as they were not interested in the industry with the previous attempt.

New Details Emerge

It was a very complicated process for Maryland to legalize online sports betting, and the same thing is happening with online casinos. Maryland lawmakers are hoping to create a competitive market, but this bill might keep operators out of the state altogether. 

House Bill 1319 would create a market with up to 30 online casinos, but it’s highly unlikely that the state would ever get to that number. Each casino would be given three online skins, and the other licenses would be available through a bidding process. 

A licensing fee of $1 million is currently the asking price, and the revenue would be taxed at 55% for the online slots. Those two numbers are much higher than what casinos in other states pay, and that’s a big reason why they might not get any applicants. 

Maryland has been conducting studies, and they assure the casino properties that they would not lose business with iGaming options. Those casinos have already seen a decrease in revenue, and that is hurting the state. 

Senate Saying No

Nothing is going to be official until the Senate has a vote on the bill, but it’s unlikely to pass. Senate Bill 603 was introduced earlier this year, and it didn’t take long before it was shut down in that chamber. 

Senators are concerned about the budget deficit in the state, but they are currently exploring some other options to attack that issue. There are some that are also concerned about the potential to damage the revenue potential for the in-person casinos. 

Those in favor of this bill are expected to lobby Senators over the next few days in an attempt to sway their opinion before the final vote. Maryland is expected to legalize online casino gaming at some point, but it just might take more attempts.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.