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Maryland’s 2023 iGaming Bill Revived: Senator Watson’s New Proposal



A wave of anticipation sweeps over Maryland as Senator Ron Watson breathes new life into the state’s iGaming aspirations. The failed bid of 2023 to secure a Senate hearing is now rekindled, as Watson gears up to introduce a revamped bill during the upcoming legislative session. This strategic move aligns with the ongoing efforts of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency to address the state’s pressing budgetary challenges. Join us as we explore the potential resurgence of iGaming in Maryland, driven by the quest for substantial revenue and financial stability.

Reviving Maryland’s iGaming Ambitions

Senator Ron Watson’s ambitious proposal to reintroduce iGaming legislation in Maryland has ignited a fresh spark of hope. With the state grappling with a projected $400 million budget deficit and pressing financial obligations in education, the urgency for additional revenue sources has never been greater.

The Potential Revenue Windfall

Highlighting the potential of generating $30 million to $40 million in revenue, Watson underscores the significance of this endeavor. Maryland’s foray into online gaming, including poker, could serve as a financial lifeline amid the state’s challenging fiscal landscape.

Building on Past Efforts

While Watson’s previous proposal, SB 267, faced roadblocks in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in 2023, the revised bill takes a different approach. It envisions welcoming up to 12 operators, each required to pay a $1 million fee for a four-year license.


A Vision for Online Poker Expansion

In a bold move, the proposal advocates for a 46.5% tax on online gambling, paving the way for the state’s six casinos to collaborate with online operators. The prospect of interstate compacts for online poker could create a larger player pool, leveraging Maryland’s population of over 6.1 million.

Voices of Concern

However, not everyone supports this revival. Union leaders Tracy Lingo and Paul Schwab, representing 100,000 casino workers, voice concerns about potential job implications tied to online gaming in Maryland. Opposition aside, numerous states that have embraced legalization have reported record revenue surges in recent months, marking a decade of success in the U.S. gaming industry in 2023.

A Promising Forecast

The resurgence of the online poker and casino bill underscores the persistent drive to establish a regulated online poker market in Maryland. A report commissioned by state regulators, conducted by The Innovation Group, paints a promising picture. It anticipates a substantial gross gaming revenue of $533.4 million by 2026, with projections soaring to a combined total of $921.1 million by 2032, signaling a potential economic boon for the state.


Following the completion of her master's degree in publishing and writing, Amanda embarked on her professional journey as an online editor for a prominent gaming blog. Now, she has smoothly transitioned into the iGaming industry, where she plays a vital role in upholding the highest standards of writing in our news pieces. Working closely with senior management, Amanda ensures that our content meets the utmost quality standards.

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