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Maryland Online Casino Bill Gets Tweaked Before Senate Vote

Maryland voters will likely get a chance to vote on legalizing online casinos this fall after a crucial bill passed out of the Bay State House and is now headed for a vote in the Senate. If approved by the Senate, Maryland voters will have the opportunity to approve (or reject) regulated online casinos on the fall ballot.

The House voted 92-43 to approve the measure and observers are expecting that the Senate will pass it by a similar margin. Those lawmakers are putting a lot of faith in the hope that Maryland voters approve the bill – as their 2025 budget is highly reliant on gambling tax revenue. It’s a gamble of their own, but it’s also one that is expected to provide $1.3 billion that would be used to fund Maryland public schools.

Some details of the proposed structure of online gambling in Maryland include a 55 percent tax on electronic games; a 20 percent tax on live dealer games; and a $1 million licensing fee. The House bill also includes an amendment requiring that one percent of electronic casino revenue go towards fighting problem gambling.

Online gambling industry observers are keeping a close on Maryland’s move to regulate online casinos in the hope that other states will follow its lead. While regulated sports betting has been widely embraced in the US, online casinos are not being met with the same open arms. Whether that’s because Americans are not really familiar with online casinos, or lawmakers simply don’t want them in their states, is unclear. Either way, as of this writing only Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, West Virginia and Michigan offer regulated online casino play. By way of comparison, 38 US States offer regulated sports betting.