Sports Betting Bill Progresses in Maryland

Sports betting legislation seems to be popping up left and right within the United States. State after state, legislation is being filed and in some cases, passed into law, to allow sports betting activity to take place. Of course, currently, sports betting is very restricted in the US, but that could all change, if the United States Supreme Court rules in favor of New Jersey in the Christie vs NCAA case. Just recently, a bill involving sports betting in Maryland gained headway, receiving approval from the state House, with an overwhelming vote of support.

According to Legal Sports Report, H 1014 passed within the House with a vote of 124 to 14. This is a big positive, but the bill still has a ways to before becoming law. The bill will have to be approved by the State Senate and Governor as well as the voters of Maryland before the activity could be legalized.

H 1014 was only introduced in February and was sent to the full House after the House Ways and Means Committee completed a few amendments. If the bill gains all necessary approvals, it will allow the casinos and horse racing tracks of the state to offer sports betting. It has been estimated that Maryland could see as much as $13.7 million generated with just over $182 million earned, if the activity were to be legalized.

With sports betting being a hot topic of discussion, such sports leagues as the MLB and the National Basketball Association, want to see an integrity fee paid to their organizations. So far, the bill in Maryland does not contain any language referring to such a fee.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where a separate version also exists. It is unclear where the Senate bill currently stands. The Senate could pass their bill, take up the House bill and make changes or decide to wait and see if SCOTUS acts before the current session ends.

A positive ruling by SCOTUS in favor of New Jersey is needed to see sports betting begin in any state that has passed legislation. The highest court is supposed to rule later on this year and if they decide that the Professional Sports & Amateur Protection Act is unconstitutional, states with sports betting legislation in place will be good to go.

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