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Maryland Delegate Introduces Bill Banning Online Gambling On College Campuses

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on February 15, 2024
Maryland Delegates Gather On House Floor

Earlier this month, Del. Pamela Queen introduced Maryland bill (HB 1087) to ban online gambling on college campuses in the state. The legislation is scheduled for a hearing next week (Feb. 22) in the House Ways and Means Committee.

The summary of Maryland bill HB 1087 states:

  • “Prohibiting online gambling while on campus at an institution of higher education in the state; requiring by Aug. 1, 2024,

  • Each institution of higher education to establish a geofence around the perimeter of the campus that prevents access to online gambling within the campus property;

  • And requiring each institution of higher education in the state to publish a written policy online that is consistent with the provisions of the Act.”

The bill comes one week after Maryland Rep. Vanessa Atterbeary introduced an online casino bill in the House after a previous one was introduced in the Senate.

The legislation to legalize Maryland online casinos bears watching. Follow our online casino bill tracker for the progress of bills in Maryland and other states.

Maryland lawmakers hope to protect college-aged bettors

Queen’s legislation aims to protect college students, mainly because people within the 18-20 age range are among the vulnerable groups that are most likely to develop a gambling problem.

As Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), previously explained to PlayUSA:

“Players within the 18-20 range have the highest rates of gambling participation, the lowest rates in our survey of gambling literacy. They don’t think about budgeting as much. They have all sorts of myths that distorted thinking around their odds of winning.”

While Maryland lawmakers recognize this as a problem and strive to protect college students from being exposed to betting, students could still find a way to gamble. And that is through offshore sports betting apps.

Unregulated sites are, unfortunately, available to every US resident, whether they live in a regulated or unregulated market.

Maryland bill ended partnerships between universities and gambling operators

Last year, Maryland legislators passed a bill (SB 620) that banned universities from affiliating with sports betting operators. They could no longer have arrangements that offer compensation for schools when students or alumni register through a promotional code.

The University of Maryland and PointsBet ended their marketing agreement in 2023. The companies didn’t reveal the reasons for terminating their contract. However, the announcement came after the talks about legislators working on a bill that would further change the state’s college betting landscape.

During last year, there were several other attempts to end gambling sponsorship deals. One such agreement was between PointsBet and the University of Colorado.

In March last year, the two parties ended their five-year $1.6 million deal dating from September 2020. PointsBet ads appeared at Folsom Field, a home field of the Colorado Buffaloes, as well as during radio and television broadcasts of the games.

Although relatively new, Maryland’s legal sports betting market remains strong

In January, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming reported that sportsbooks generated $80 million in gross sports betting revenue, the second-best total since the market went live in November 2022.

As a result, January 2024 gaming revenue for Maryland operators reached almost $55 million, the state’s new record. After each sportsbook paid 15% of its taxable win to the state, sportsbooks brought in $8,246,847 in taxes.

Compared to January 2023, Maryland’s taxable win and gambling tax showed a 290% yearly progress last month.

Since the inception of the state’s sports betting program, MD sportsbooks helped assemble:

  • $60,982,459 towards the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund
  • $2,797,966 contributed to the Problem Gambling Fund
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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