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Maryland sports betting bill passes committee with new amendments


A bill to legalise sports betting in Maryland has been amended and passed a first vote in the Senate Committee for Budget and Taxation.

Senate Bill 4, introduced by Craig Zucker, was one of two Maryland senate bills to legalise sports betting introduced in January.

The new amendments to Zucker’s bill was proposed by committee members Guy Guzzone, Thomas Miller, Jr, Nancy King and Cory McCray as well as Pamela Beidle and Chris West.

It would allow for sports betting at three racetracks – Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park,and Maryland State Fairgrounds – and, “a stadium located in Prince George’s county that is used primarily for professional football.”

This clause is intended to refer to FedEx field, home of the NFL’s Washington Redskins. With the District of Columbia’s sports betting regulations allowing betting in stadia, the clause is likely intended to dissuade the franchise from moving to a stadium within the District.

The amendment also requires that “certain applicants and licensees are subject to certain minority business participation goals”. The Special Secretary for the Office of Small, Minority, and Women Business Affairs would be responsible for drawing up these goals.

Zucker’s bill continues to set a $2.5m license fee, plus an annual $250,000 renewal fee and a 20% tax rate. The bill also allows for online operators to offer sports wagering on behalf of an existing sports wagering licensee, provided they pay a license fee of at least $5,000 to do so.

The bill will now go to a vote on the floor of the state Senate.