Maryland Sports Betting Effort Falls Short; Fantasy Sports Bill Heads To Governor

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Maryland sports betting 2019

An effort to legalize sports betting in Maryland via a referendum fell short, as the legislature wrapped up Monday without sending a bill to the governor.

The legislature also passed a bill dealing with daily fantasy sports that will head to the governor. Paid-entry fantasy contests were already legalized under a 2012 law.

Wither sports betting

A sports betting bill overwhelmingly passed the state House last month, to the tune of a vote of 124-14.

But beyond a hearing on H 1014, there was no action on the bill in the Senate. That effectively ends any hope of the state legalizing sports wagering in the short term.

The legislature doesn’t reconvene until January of next year.

Maryland may find itself way behind

By the time the statehouse is in action again, the state may find a very different landscape for legal wagering.

Of course, other states have cooled on passing sports betting this year, including Kansas most recently.

Fantasy sports law?

In other news, the state also sent a minor fantasy sports bill to the governor’s desk.

The bill — S 900 — isn’t exactly groundbreaking. It simply moves regulation of the fantasy sports industry from the state comptroller’s office to the state lottery and gaming commission. The comptroller had already instituted regulations last year, based on the authority vested in the office in 2012.

It also bans the operation of fantasy sports kiosks in Maryland. If it becomes law, it only appears to affect a company called Eaglestrike, which operates such kiosks in several states, Maryland included.