Maryland legislators are close to passing legislation limiting agreements between universities and sports betting operators.
Senate Bill 620 (SB 620) and its equivalent, House Bill 802, have made it through both of Maryland’s legislative bodies.
Sponsored by Sen. Shelly Hettleman, SB 620 cleared the House, passed the Senate, and is currently awaiting Governor Wes Moore’s signature.
Currently, there’s only one university with a sports betting partnership that could be affected by the Maryland gambling bill.
What happens if the Maryland gambling bill becomes law?
College sports betting bill SB 620 made it through the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee and “returned passed” the Senate without amendment.
If SB 620 becomes law, Maryland universities and colleges would be banned from receiving compensation from sports betting companies. The law would also require public educational institutions to reveal any contract with sports betting firms.
Maryland would also be the first state with such a law. Meanwhile, Washington DC and many other US jurisdictions considering addressing college sports betting partnerships would be tackling the matter. Many states are now rethinking the rules and regulations of the industry and could follow Maryland’s example.
Bill targets the University of Maryland’s contract with PointsBet
Shelly Hettleman said a New York Times article about gambling companies on college campuses inspired her. The Times published stories detailing the partnerships between universities and sports betting firms and the potential for problem gambling increasing.
The University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) is the only higher educational institution in the state with a Maryland sports betting sponsorship. The UMCP has an agreement with PlayFly Sports, the marketing firm which inked a deal between the university and PointsBet. The deal contains advertising within the university’s various sports arenas, including on-campus QR codes.
PointsBet has recently canceled its 5-year sponsor contract with the University of Colorado after the American Gaming Association (AGA) issued updates to its marketing guidelines. The AGA’s new marketing code of conduct restricts college partnerships that promote or advertise sports betting activity.