Maryland sports betting advertising bills survive crossover day

Maryland state flags waving in a crowd
Image: Shutterstock

Two bills to limit the scope of sports betting advertising are still alive in Maryland, which hit its crossover deadline on Monday.

The measure, SB620, to prohibit Maryland colleges from partnering with sportsbooks passed out of the Senate last week with a unanimous vote and is on to the House Appropriations Subcommittee. There is a hearing scheduled for March 30 on the measure.

This bill would not allow any higher education institutions to work with sportsbook operators. It would also seemingly directly impact the University of Maryland’s partnership with PointsBet Sportsbook.

The other bill, SB621, a measure to vet and audit sportsbook content, passed through the Senate late Monday night and is on to the House as well. The legislation has not been assigned a committee in the House just yet.

The bill passed unanimously as well, but the revised version of the bill does strip some of the meat from the measure. During a committee hearing on the bill earlier this month, multiple representatives from operators appeared to voice their concerns about being mandated to do this but also stated they were on board with the amended language.

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission will still evaluate independent content evaluators, however, the element of the bill requiring sportsbooks to submit their content for vetting has been removed. Instead, the language now reads that sportsbooks “may” utilize these independent auditors, such as SharpRank, to certify content. Additionally, the language now reads that the gaming commission will “license” rather than “accredit” these auditing firms. There is no language about any potential fees associated with such a license.

A similar measure in West Virginia did not cross over into the Senate prior to the state’s crossover deadline and appears to be dead for 2023.