Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is set to sign a bill authorizing sports betting and fantasy sports into law today (18 May).
The bill – HB 940, signature of which was placed on Hogan’s schedule for today – would allow for four different types of retail licenses, plus a license for mobile betting.
A Class A-1 license would be for an operator of more than 1,000 video lottery terminals (VLTs), such as the state’s land-based casinos, or any NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS or NHL team based in the state, such as the Baltimore Orioles or the Washington Football Team. This license carries a fee of $2m.
A Class A-2 license, costing $1m, would be for the Maryland Jockey Club or an operator of 1,000 or fewer VLTs.
A B-1 license would be available to a bingo or simulcast racing operator with more than 25 employees and $3m in gross receipts, and required a $250,000 payment, while any other simulcast or bingo operator could apply for a B-2 license, with a $50,000 fee.
The state may issue a maximum of 60 licenses, of which up to 30 may be Class B licenses.
A mobile sports betting license, which would only be available to a holder of a retail betting licence, carries a $500,000 fee. Each mobile licensee may only contract with a single mobile operator to offer one online “skin”.
All types of operators will be required to pay 15% of revenue in tax.
Sports betting was approved in Maryland last year after voters backed the measure in a referendum. This followed the bill to organise the referendum passing by a landslide vote from the Maryland senate.
The bill was then sent to Hogan’s desk just over a month ago after the state’s House of Representatives voted 122-16 to adopt the bill with some Senate amendments, including the license classification system.