It has been just one day since Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed HB 940 into law, and we are already seeing the effects this legislation is having in Southern Maryland and across the entire state.
The new measure, one of 226 bills signed into law by the governor, legalized sports gambling in Maryland. The bipartisan measure was praised by the governor, who thanked both the Maryland House and Senate for their tireless work in getting these bills to his office.
“Today we are signing another 226 bipartisan bills into law, including legislation to legalize sports betting in the State of Maryland and to repeal the state song—a relic of the Confederacy that is clearly outdated and out-of-touch,” said Governor Hogan. “I want to thank the legislators on both sides of the aisle for working together with us in a bipartisan way this session.”
What Will This Bill Do?
Added to the new legislation is the authorization for the six casinos located in Maryland, the Maryland Jockey club, and the State Fairgrounds in Timonium to receive licenses to accept sports bets. The bill also granted permission for the three professional sports teams located within the borders of Maryland to accept bets as well as for the stadiums where they reside to accept them.
Additional points of the legislation increased the number of mobile licenses from 10 to 15 as well as bumped up the number of “Class B” licenses from 5 to 10.
Benefitting Women, Minorities
While there have been many opposed to the legislation, one area that has earned widespread support is the emphasis on ensuring that the focus of many of these additional licenses will go towards minority and women owned businesses. Caesars already committed to ensuring that there would be 25% minority ownership of their sports betting operation, and the Washington-based NFL team has made that commitment as well. The Riverboat already is owned by a minority group.
Many of the more recognizable names in online sports betting are expected to receive licenses. Because of their long-standing reputations and the success they have had in providing services in other states, Maryland is expected to grant licenses to many of these international online sportsbooks.
One of the primary focuses of this legislation is to increase the amount of revenue that the state will receive from taxes collected from online sports betting. Because these groups have had a great deal of success in building an infrastructure that has worked well within other states, it would not be surprising for them to become major players in the bidding war to receive these licenses.
Building Partnerships in Sports
This legislation has already led to the partnership between one of the largest sports betting groups and the Baltimore Ravens football team. Just one day after the governor signed the bill, the Baltimore Ravens announced that they had partnered with BetMGM.
This multiyear deal creates a partnership between the New Jersey-based operator as they become the official sponsor on Ravens digital and social platforms. Ravens’ fans will also see BetMGM branding at M&T Bank Stadium, the home of the team.
The legislation allows for gambling to occur inside the stadium, and so BetMGM will provide a sports betting app that will be available for those to use while they are at Ravens games during the season. However, no specific details were provided by the team as to how exactly sports wagering will occur, or even if fans will be limited to using only the sports betting app to place wagers.
In addition, no word has been provided on what might happen with the other Maryland-based NFL team or with the Baltimore Orioles baseball team. With the Major League Baseball season already underway, it is expected that the Orioles will try to push to get some partnership signed as quickly as possible to offer sports wagering during games this season.