Maryland Lawmakers Pushing Hard for Online Gaming To Be Legalized Soon

Maryland Lawmakers Pushing Hard for Online Gaming To Be Legalized Soon February 9, 2023 February 9, 2023 Carolyn Dutton
 Legislation February 9, 2023 by Carolyn Dutton


  • SB 267 has been introduced by two Maryland senators to legalize online gaming
  • The six casinos in the state could apply for a license to offer online gaming
  • The Bill would be put to a public vote in the November 2024 election

A new Bill has been put forward in Maryland seeking to legalize online casino gaming in the US state. Filed by senators Ron Watson and Nancy King, SB 267 would allow Maryland residents to directly decide whether or not the state should embrace online casino gaming. It’s the first time that such legislation is being introduced in the state.

Key Provisions of SB 267

Among the key provisions of the Bill is authorizing the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission to issue licenses to the state’s six land-based casinos, also referred to as video lottery operators, to allow them to offer online casino games. There would be an initial license fee of $500,000, with the permits renewable every five years. The renewal comes with an additional fee equal to 1% of the operator’s average annual proceeds from the first five years.

Furthermore, SB 267 sets the tax rate for online casino revenue at 15%, but free play and promotional credits would be excluded from the tax. The Bill also allows Maryland to join interstate gaming agreements, subject to approval from the state governor. Tax revenue generated from online casino gaming would go to the Maryland Education Trust Fund.

Watson said they are currently looking at other states that already offer online gaming to see if they can adopt their legal framework for Maryland. The Democrat senator also added that the draft Bill could still be modified to come up with a final product that’s best for the state especially after the impact Covid had on land casinos.

Long Road Ahead

Mobile sports betting is now legal in Maryland, and while the market just launched in November 2022, the state is already reaping the benefits of legalizing the game, with operators generating $487.2 million in tax revenues in December alone. Sports betting legislation also went through a referendum, with Maryland voters giving it the nod in November 2020.

SB 267 could follow a similar route, which means it could take two years before online casino gaming could go live in the Old Line State.

The current Bill does not explicitly mention online poker, but Watson said it is included under casino-style games. The senator himself is an avid poker enthusiast, having played on online poker sites partypoker and PokerStars. He also competed in the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world