Maryland House to Vote on Online Casino Gaming

Though online sportsbooks are becoming more widely accepted from a legal perspective, online casino gaming is still somewhat rare. Maryland legislators are pushing now to advance HB 1319 through the House, with the aim to have it passed by March 18.

Could Maryland become the latest state to allow legal online casino gaming? That is what Del. Vanessa Atterbeary and other legislators are hoping to achieve. A House committee has officially advanced HB 1319, which would legalize online casino gaming in the state.

The goal is to ensure that the bill will be on the ballot for election time in November. That said, Atterbeary and other supporters are facing strong opposition.

Introduction of the Bill

The bill itself, House Bill 1319, was introduced by Vanessa Atterbeary. She chairs the Ways and Means Committee, and the measure would be to allow each of the six brick-and-mortar casino locations to be able to run as many as three iGaming operations in the state.

The move would also push to expand the potential available iGaming licenses from the current 12 to as many as 30. What is interesting about the bill is that it would also prohibit the use of credit cards as a funding source at online casinos.

Updated Language

This isn’t the first incarnation of HB 1319. This is an overhaul of previously proposed iGaming legislation, advocating a tiered licensing process. In addition to gaining up to three iGaming licenses each, the six brick-and-mortar casinos would need to share 5% of their iGaming revenue with a social equity applicant partner. The requirement is to qualify for the first iGaming license. A revenue-sharing agreement of 33% would unlock the third license.

There would be requirements for social equity applicants as well. Attendance requirements and personal net worth limitations apply. Tax rates, however, have been unchanged from the initial bill. Lawmakers and stakeholders have been opposed to the 20% taxation for live dealer games and 55% for table games and slots.

Tight Window

Maryland House Needs to Pass iGaming Bill by Monday | Poker Industry PRO

As of now, the window to push the bill forward is tight. The March 18 crossover deadline is a big milestone, but the April 8 end of the legislative session is the hard deadline. Getting the bill pushed through ahead of the end of the session is key to ensuring that it reaches the ballot when voters head to the polls in November. Senate leaders have publicly stated that they are opposed to both gaming expansion as well as taxes, at least in this session, but the level of that pushback remains to be seen.


With the state legislative session going through April 8, time is running short for this bill to pass and reach the ballot. A key day will come during the General Assembly’s “crossover” day on March 18. If support can push it onto the ballot, voters will have the ultimate say in whether or not online casino games will be available in the future.

Noah has worked in the iGaming space for more than five years, first as a freelancer and now as part of Duluth Media. He’s experienced in all facets of the industry and has covered plenty of sports.

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