Bill Seeks To Ban Online Gambling On Maryland College Campuses

Written By Cheryl Coward on February 21, 2024
A picture of a University of Maryland football game pregame ceremony for a story about a new bill that bans online betting on the state's college campuses.

It’s been over two years since sports betting launched in Maryland. For some, especially two members of the state General Assembly, the next logical progression is to legalize online casinos.

While state Sen. Ron Watson and Del. Vanessa Atterbeary look to expand legal betting to iGaming, Montgomery County Del. Pam Queen wants all online betting banned on college campuses.

House Bill 1087 currently sits in the House Ways and Means Committee awaiting a Feb. 22 hearing.

What’s the gist of Queen’s bill?

Maryland sports betting is available to anyone 21 and over residing in the state. Queen’s bill would effectively force college students off campus to make wagers on sports. Maryland is among the few states that allow betting on in-state college teams.

The Old Line State has nine NCAA Division I institutions, including Big Ten power University of Maryland.

Queen introduced HB 1087 this month. The bill forces schools to block online gambling on campus via geofencing technology.

“Prohibiting online gambling while on campus at an institution of higher education in the State; requiring by August 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.”

Sports betting restrictions already in place at MD universities

Maryland has 11 active online sportsbooks, but state law allows up to 60.

Before halting betting in the state on Jan. 30, PointsBet sportsbook had a partnership with the University of Maryland. The partnership ended before the state passed a law prohibiting higher institutions from affiliating with sports betting companies.

Maryland had a banner year in 2023 with sports betting revenue. It was capped with a record-setting December, when the state collected $6.5 million in taxes. This year began with a bang as bettors placed nearly $545 million in wagers via retail and online sportsbooks in January. The state collected $8.2 million in taxes.

However, the bill could affect the next wave of gambling expansion. Two separate bills in the legislature could legalize Maryland online casinos. But Queen’s bill would keep students from accessing those websites on campus.

Photo by AP / Patrick Semansky
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Cheryl Coward

Cheryl Coward is a contributor for PlayMaryland with a background in sports journalism. She started her career as a news reporter in Washington, DC. She’s a die-hard women’s basketball fanatic and founded the website as a result of that passion. She has extensive experience covering gambling and sports betting in California.

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