A pair of bills targeting deals between universities and sports betting operators have made it through the Maryland General Assembly, and now await the signature of Gov. Wes Moore.
If signed, it would likely spell the end of a partnership between PointsBet Sportsbook and the University of Maryland, which was signed well before online sports betting in Maryland was legal.
It would also severely limit the chance at similar deals between sportsbooks and universities in the future.
What will Maryland SB 620 and HB 802 accomplish?
Maryland House Bill 802 and Senate Bill 620 are companion bills which made it through Maryland’s House of Delegates and the Maryland Senate.
The text of the bills is aimed at limiting partnerships between Maryland universities and sports betting operators.
“Prohibiting institutions of higher education from entering into a contract with a certain regulated gaming entity or a certain agent of a regulated gaming entity if the institution of higher education receives certain compensation for student participation in certain sports wagering; prohibiting institutions of higher education from entering into a contract with a sports marketing entity if the entity or the institution receives certain compensation for student participation in certain sports wagering.”
The goal of proposing these bills is to install barriers to keep these deals from going out of control. Limiting deals between sports betting entities and colleges and universities by not allowing these sports betting platforms to benefit off students gambling is the initial guard rail implemented.
In addition to not allowing compensation from sports betting companies and the colleges or universities, this new bill will also force any deals made between online sportsbook providers and colleges or universities to be revealed and fully disclosed, to seemingly keep any potential loopholes from being utilized.
If Gov. Moore signs the bill, no deal between an online sportsbook and a college or university can involve compensation gained through student participation in sports betting.
Maryland university sportsbook deal bills received bipartisan support
It is not common to see such widespread support for two pieces of legislation that were each proposed on the opposite side of the Maryland General Assembly, but both HB 820 and SB 620 have flown through the legislative process of becoming a law.
HB 820 was assigned to the Maryland Ways and Means Committee while its counterpart, SB 620, was sent to the Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee. Both pieces of legislation passed through committee and were then sent to the opposite chamber. Both passed there as well and were sent back to their original chambers for any last alterations.
Now, after a final review in their original chamber, both bills were passed on and now sit on the desk of the Gov. Moore where they await his signature to become law.
Maryland will become the first state to implement guard rails at the legislative level for any deals between colleges or universities and sports betting providers. At this time, Washington DC and other states are considering addressing deals between college sports and sports betting providers as well, but no law has been added yet. That being said, the decision in Maryland could be the first domino to fall that leads into many other states adopting similar resolutions.
What happens to PointsBet deal with University of Maryland?
At this point it is fully expected that these legislative guard rails will be implemented as law soon which could have a massive impact on the deal between PointsBet and the University of Maryland. It’s a deal that was signed into place in December of 2021.
Representatives from PointsBet have said the deal does not contain any incentives for signing up new customers, but it’s clear this partnership was a target of the legislation.
If that deal comes to an end, it will be the second time in a matter of months PointsBet had a university partnership dissolve.
PointsBet recently saw their partnership with the University of Colorado fall apart suddenly. That deal was supposed to be a five-year sponsor contract which ended after just three years.