The effort to legalize sports betting in Maryland via a referendum couldn't succeed as the legislature wrapped up its session on Monday without sending the bill to the governor.
A bill dealing with daily fantasy sports that will head to the governor was passed by the legislature. Moreover, paid-entry fantasy contests have already been legalized under a 2012 law.
Last month, the legislature passed the state House to the tune of a vote of 124-14.
But beyond one hearing on H 1014, no further action was taken on the bill in the Senate.
That effectively ends any hope of the state legalizing sports betting in the short term. The legislature would not reconvene before January next year.
By the time the statehouse begins action again, the state might find a different landscape for legal wagering as a decision is soon expected from the Supreme Court this spring.
If the high court lifts the ban on single-game betting outside of Nevada, it would open doors for other states as well for legalizing it.
Meanwhile, most of Maryland’s neighbors have legalized sport betting and are eagerly waiting for the verdict. Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New Jersey already have laws over it.
Delaware already has parlay betting and would likely follow the lead. Now, even if Maryland passes the bill in 2019, it would require approval of voters further putting the chances of legalizing the sports betting before 2020 in haze.
Though the state has already sent a minor fantasy sports bill S 900 to the governor, but it isn't groundbreaking.
The bill takes away the regulation of the fantasy sports industry from the state comptroller’s office and gives it to the gaming commission and state lottery.
Based on the authority vested in the office in 2012, the comptroller had already instituted regulations last year.