Maryland’s Senate passed an amended version of the House’s Maryland sports betting bill via voice vote on Thursday morning, moving the state’s sports betting bill industry one step closer to becoming a reality.
While the senate already passed the bill, they will still have to take it to a roll call vote to have the numbers on record before sending it back to the House for a concurrence vote due to the amendments made by the Senate.
Amended HB 940
House Bill 940 was originally passed in the House on March 11. That draft provided for a total of 37 licenses within three areas of the market. However, the Senate chose to amend the bill and include no cap on mobile sportsbooks or Class B licensing, which includes any number of retail locations. The amendment also called for the prioritization of giving licenses to women and minority businesses.
The Senate also set the tax rate for Class A operators to 15% of gross gaming revenue as compared to the tiered proposal by the House. As for Class B Maryland sports betting operators, the tax rate is 13%. Application fees for licenses were priced at $2M with a renewal cost of $500,000 for Class A licenses and $1M in application fee plus $300,000 in renewal for Class B licenses.
What’s Next for HB 940?
The Maryland sports betting bill now moves to a third reading, likely on Friday, and then it will be sent back to the House for for a vote on the latest draft on the measure. Time is of the essence for HB940 as the General Assembly ends their 2021 session on Monday. If the bill is passed, Maryland sports betting could go live before the start of the 2021 NFL season.
Maryland sports betting stands to become the largest and most competitive sports betting regulated sports betting industry in the United States with no limit as to the number of legal Maryland sports betting operators. Maryland is known as the Free State and if this Maryland sports betting bill is approved, the state will live up to its nickname