Governor Larry Hogan Set to Sign Maryland Sports Betting Bill into Law
The Maryland sports betting bill that was passed in the House and Senate is set to be turned into law. After a bit of a longer wait than expected, we are getting word that Governor Larry Hogan is set to place his signature on the bill today, Tuesday, May 18th, 2021. This will put the Maryland sports betting bill into law, and the official launch process can begin.
There were rumors before today that the sports betting bill would not be on Governor Hogan’s desk; however, this was never really a concern as the bill would simply become law with no signature by the end of the month. There was never any expectation of a veto from the Governor’s office. Passing the bill now, instead of the end of the month, does not make a massive difference. What it will do is allow the licensing and launch process to commence earlier. This will hopefully lead to Maryland sports betting beginning sooner rather than later.
Maryland Sports Betting Legal History
Maryland voters voted in favor of allowing sports betting during the November 2020 election. This proposition simply asked if Maryland should legalize sports betting and had no actual bill attached to it. Therefore, following the vote, the legislature still had a ton of work to do in order to get the regulations and laws put in place to launch sports betting.
There was quite a bit of back and forth between January and March; however, congress decided on one of the friendliest sports betting bills that we have seen in the United States Market.
This bill has a somewhat higher 15% tax on a majority of the licenses, and that rate can rise to 17.5%. However, the smaller Class B licenses will only be subject to a 13% tax rate, a massive win for the little guys. There is also a total of 60 online sportsbook licenses, and 30 retails licenses to be handed out. This means everyone who wants to get in on Maryland sports betting will be able to.
The bill does include in-state collegiate betting, meaning that you can wager on schools from Maryland and collegiate events that take place in the state of Maryland, something many states prohibit. It also allows for sportsbooks at all of the major professional stadiums, Camden Yards, FedEx Field, and M&T Bank Stadium.
The previously mentioned Class B licenses will go to small sportsbooks at bars and restaurants as well as fairgrounds throughout the state. The lower tax rate and fees will help these sportsbooks stay in business and give them a chance in the competitive market.
When Will Maryland Sports Betting Launch?
There is no set date for when sports betting will launch. However, with the early signature secured, it is almost a guarantee that the start of the NFL season is the target date. With how efficient and friendly Maryland has been with sports betting, I would not be shocked to see it launch well before the NFL season kickoffs in September. Therefore, late July and early August are real possibilities.