Sports betting bills passed in Maryland and Arizona

Sports betting has just one more hurdle to clear to become legal in Maryland and Arizona. Bills to legalize sports betting are headed to the Governor’s desk in both states, where a quick signature would make both law.

In Maryland HB 940 was passed by the House of Delegates back on March 11. After making some amendments to the bill the State Senate unanimously passed the bill earlier this week with a vote of 47-0. The same day the House agreed with the amendments made by the Senate and voted to pass the bill 122-16. The bill now heads to Governor Larry Hogan to be signed into law.

[ Read sports betting legalization history in Maryland | Arizona

The legalization of sports betting in Maryland has been in the works since Maryland residents voted to legalize it at the ballot box in November, 2020. Following the amendments and the passing of the bills earlier this week the goal is for the state to launch sports betting by fall, 2021 in time for the 2021 NFL season.

Most of the amendments made by the senate focused on sports betting licenses. Under the amended bill, Class A licenses are reserved for the state’s six casinos, three professional sports teams at their stadiums, and the Maryland Jockey Club which operates Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course.

Class B licenses are limited to 30 businesses with physical locations in Maryland. These licenses will be up for competitive bids.

Both Class A and B licenses holders can apply for mobile betting licenses which under the new amendments was limited to 60. Online sports betting operators can partner with multiple license holders, but the license holders can only partner with one online sports betting operator.

All spots betting revenue in Maryland will be taxed at 15 percent. The state is projecting tax revenue of between $17-$19 million annually between 2022-2026.

Switching focus to Arizona, where HB 2772 passed a Senate vote by 23-6 earlier this week to legalize sports betting, daily fantasy sports, Keno and mobile draw, and also enact a new tribal gaming compact. The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Doug Ducey to be signed into law.

The bill allows for 20 sports betting licenses in the state, of which 10 will go to tribal operators and 10 will go the Arizona’s professional sports teams and leagues operating in the state. Licenses include both retail and mobile betting and would allow tribes with multiple gaming locations to operate retail sportsbooks at all of them under one license.

The tax rate on sports betting has not been finalized yet in Arizona, nor has the license fees operates will have to pay. However, when the state projected revenues from sports betting they used a minimum tax rate of eight percent on a estimated annual revenue of $154.4 million.