New York and Maryland Approve Sports Betting Expansion
Last week, we reported that prospects for online sports betting in New York for 2021 were dead. Fortunately, we were mistaken. Online sports betting was added last minute to the 2022 New York budget, effectively legalizing the activity once the budget was approved.
New York isn’t the only state expanding gambling. The Maryland Legislature has also legalized online sports betting. Under the measure, there could be as many as 60 online sportsbooks in the state.
New York Legalizes Online Sports Betting
Last week, it appeared that online sports betting was dead in New York. However, lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo were able to strike a deal that resulted in online sports betting being added to the 2022 state budget.
Gov. Cuomo was ultimately able to get exactly what he wanted. He has been touting a limited-operator model run through the NY State Lottery. Back in January, Cuomo told reporters that, “We want to do sports betting the way the state runs the lottery where the state gets the revenues. Many states have done sports betting but they basically allow casinos to run their own gambling operations. That makes a lot of money for casinos but it makes minimal money for the state. And I’m not here to make casinos a lot of money. I’m here to raise funds for the state. So we have a different model for sports betting.”
Under Cuomo’s system, the NY Lottery will issue two primary licenses to mobile sports betting operators. Those operators will then be allowed to issue skins for four sportsbooks. Now, the New York Gaming Commission will have to draft regulatory measures to get sites online.
The one gray area is whether the Governor’s plan will include Native American tribes. There is some concern that if the rights of tribes are not protected, then sports betting will not be available in some regions of the state.
Presently, sports betting is expected to launch sometime in September. This would allow the market to take advantage of the upcoming NFL season.
Maryland Legislature Legalizes Sports Betting
Maryland is the latest state to move forward with live and online sports betting legalization. However, they waited until the last day of the session to get it done. On Monday, various reports confirmed that Maryland lawmakers have passed sports betting in the stated.
An amended bill was sent to the Senate on Monday, who unanimously approved the measure 47-0. The bill then went to the House of Representatives who overwhelmingly approved the measure 112-16-1.
Under the bill, approximately 80% of the state’s sports betting market is expected to be done online. As many as 30 retail operators will be permitted under the bill while there may be as many as 60 online operators. This will be double what you can find in states like New Jersey where both real money online casinos and sportsbooks are legal.
One component of the bill will allow the professional sports teams in Maryland to offer sports betting on-site and online. The Washington Football Team, Baltimore Orioles, and the Baltimore Ravens will all have sports betting presences online. However, colleges will not be permitted to operate sportsbooks.
The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Larry Hogan who is expected to sign the bill. Last November, Maryland citizens voted in favor of sports betting by a 2-1 margin. After Hogan’s expected signature, regulators can begin the regulatory and licensing process.
Similar to New York, Maryland is expected to launch sports betting prior to the start of the 2021 NFL season. It is uncertain how many sportsbooks will launch at first, but over time, you can expect Maryland to be a key player in legalized sports betting in the United States.