Following the nationwide expansion of legal sports betting, officials in various US states are considering the potential benefits of legalizing online gambling. Also known as iGaming, online gambling has the potential to generate significant tax revenue while providing a legal avenue for individuals to gamble. While some states already offer online gambling, others are in the process of legalizing the activity. Maryland is one such state that is exploring this option.
Senator Ronald Watson recently introduced Senate Bill 603 (SB 603), which proposes the legalization of iGaming across the state. This marks Senator Watson’s latest effort in this area, following unsuccessful attempts last year. If SB 603 gains traction, Maryland voters will have the opportunity to vote on the proposal in November.
The bill seeks to establish a competitive online gambling market in Maryland, allowing the state’s six casino operators to partner with up to two online gambling platforms. This partnership is expected to support the growth of the iGaming sector and the retail offering.
Under SB 603, the taxation of iGaming activities would be set at 47% of the proceeds, with licensed operators retaining 53% of their revenues. A portion of the proceeds would be allocated to combat problem gambling and support the state lottery, with the majority benefiting Maryland’s Future Fund for education. Operators would be granted a five-year license.
In addition to tax revenue, iGaming could also create new job opportunities. The proposal includes provisions for iGaming operators to build and operate live gaming studios, potentially leading to the creation of new jobs across Maryland.
Maryland currently offers online sports betting, which has seen significant success, with a record-breaking $559.9 million in betting handle reported last month. If the new proposal gains momentum, Maryland could become the latest state to legalize iGaming, joining other major markets such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.