Sports Betting Alliance pays record fine in Maryland over clerical error

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The lobbying group Sports Betting Alliance is drawing headlines for a record fine from the Maryland State Board of Elections but the $48,000 fine is essentially the result of a paperwork snafu. Nonetheless, it is the largest fine the board has ever imposed on an entity.

The Sports Betting Alliance received the fine for failing to file a disclosure within the 48-hour window put in place by the state. For each day the group failed to file, they accrued a $1,000 fine. The total fine for such a violation is either the cumulative amount or 10% of the total spending by the organization in the state.

While the candidates publicly disclosed the contributions within the legally mandated 30 days, Sports Betting Alliance failed to file the corresponding paperwork for organizations that have contributed more than $6,000.

“This was simply a filing error by our compliance team. As soon as we realized the mistake, we immediately filed the missing form and worked with the Maryland State Board of Election to correct the error,” an SBA spokesperson told SBC Americas.

Sports Betting Alliance is a lobbying group representing the interests of several online sports betting groups, namely BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Fanatics Sportsbook. It was founded in 2021 and has testified at numerous state-level hearings regarding the legalization of sports betting, including this year in Texas.

Texas has been a major focus for the group, with former Gov. Rick Perry working with the group. Several professional teams have also teamed with the alliance in the state, including the Houston Texans, Dallas Stars, Houston Rockets, Houston Astros, and the Dallas Cowboys.

However, despite the alliance’s best efforts in the Lone Star State this year, the group will have to wait until 2025 for another shot at bringing sports betting to the state.