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Maryland Ponders Pros And Cons Of Online Casino Legalization

Several prominent Maryland legislators and iGaming experts convened at Morgan State University’s Center for Data Analytics and Sports Gaming Research last week for a panel discussion about the future of gambling in Maryland. The overwhelming consensus: Legal online casinos are coming. 

While the rehashing of previous sports betting legislation dominated a chunk of the panel discussion — retail sportsbooks launched in the state in December of 2021, while mobile sportsbooks went live in November of 2022 — the final 30 minutes of the conversation looked forward. Delegate Edith Patterson and former Del. Darryl Barnes both attended, and they believe there will be an online casino legalization push in Maryland in the near future. That belief is shared by Becca Giden, the director of policy for Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. 

Sen. Ron Watson introduced an online casino bill during the 2023 legislative session, and while it didn’t move forward, he’s expecting to reintroduce similar legislation in 2024. The Maryland Lottery is also having The Innovation Group conduct an iGaming feasibility study, which will be completed by November and shared with the General Assembly. Expanded gambling in Maryland would require a referendum in 2024. 

Barnes says that if Maryland legislators have learned anything from sports betting, it’s that the legislature should take its time setting up an iGaming system that works for the state. 


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