March 31, 2023
Gamblers in Maryland hoped that online casino gambling would become legal after Senate Bill 267 was passed. However, online gambling won't be legalized any time soon, at least until 2024, because the House of the General Assembly hasn't passed the bill. Thankfully, the General Assembly can approve it if the Senate first introduces the bill to the floor.
Senator Ron Watson, a co-sponsor of the bill, has expressed confidence that the online gambling bill will pass next year before the House's sitting concludes on April 10th. Passing the bill would mean casino gambling sites would launch in the Free State to allow gamers to play traditional casino games like slots, poker, blackjack, and roulette. Senate Bill 267 is also expected to cover sweepstakes and social gaming opportunities.
Back in November 2022, the state approved legal online sports betting, with residents hoping that online casino gambling would be the next option. Any gambling operator/supplier that wishes to launch in the state must be vetted and approved by the strict Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, which oversees the state's gambling industry.
According to Senator Watson, a legal online gambling industry would rake in nearly $100 million annually in taxes. The lawmaker declared that the sports betting revenues clearly indicate that online gambling will benefit the state's economy. Watson also cautioned that another pandemic could be disastrous for the economy if conventional sports are suspended. Therefore, he proposes legal online gaming as a new income stream to finance the Education Trust Fund.
But the Maryland gaming license won't come cheap as operators would pay $500,000 for a five-year renewable permit. Additionally, the gaming operators will part with 15% of their income in taxes.
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