Caassinos em Maryland
Imagem: Wallpaper Cave / imzezo

Maryland‘s push for legislation on online casinos did not come to fruition last Monday (08). The bill that passed from the Chamber to the Senate was received without interest in continuing.

The proposal offered up to 30 online casino licenses for the Old Line State. Several controversies occurred since its inception and throughout its journey through the Chamber, as opponents fought against the proposal.

Local research indicates that online platforms would harm physical casinos

Then a major question arose around the bill, a flurry of research studies that presented the issue of online casinos potentially cannibalizing physical locations.

A study by Eilers and Krejcik, commissioned by iDEA growth, estimated that the impact on retail financial results would be around 2%. But other more incisive studies indicated that this number would be between 8% and 10%, as suggested in research by The Innovation Group.

Therefore, unions came out in full force against the online casino bill, along with anti-gambling opponents and retail organizations. The AFL-CIO and UNITE Here were just some of the labor groups that came to Maryland’s capital, Annapolis, to witness the analysis of the text.

But despite this enduring opposition, a version of House Bill 1319 from House Delegate Vanessa E Atterbeary managed to pass the Lower House in March by a vote of 92-43.

The bill then went through a process similar to the state’s consideration of sports betting in 2020, with Maryland voters having their say on the issue through a referendum.

However, the Maryland Senate has shown no interest in legalizing igaming, which would require a change to the state constitution. But as the budget was already announced without including tax revenue from the expansion of online casinos, the lack of interest was clear.

The Budget and Taxation Committee decided not to add the HB 1339 bill to its agenda. That meant the end of consideration of the industry in Maryland for now.