US Sports Betting Legislation Updates: Maryland, Wyoming, and Washington

  • The Maryland gaming regulator has submitted its first draft of sports betting regulations
  • Sportsbook operators can begin applying for licenses in Wyoming on Thursday this week
  • The Washington governor has signed 15 tribal compacts for retail and online sports wagering
Phone with American football and dollars
Sports fans in Maryland, Wyoming, and Washington moved one step closer to legal betting this week with the development of each market making progress. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Update July 15, 2021: The MLGCC has voted unanimously in favor of the sports betting regulations draft.

Betting in the works

The states of Maryland, Wyoming, and Washington are already well on their way to legal sports betting. This week, sports fans in each of the states moved one step closer to placing their first wagers.

MLGCC published its first draft of betting regulations this week

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission (MLGCC) is attempting to formulate the state’s sports betting rules so that sportsbooks can begin taking their first bets. The MLGCC published its first draft of betting regulations this week. They will go to a vote on Thursday.

Elsewhere, Wyoming is also making progress in regard to sports betting. The Wyoming Gaming Commission (WGC) will begin taking license applications from sportsbook operators this week.

Meanwhile, Governor Jay Inslee has paved the way for tribal sports betting in Washington. He signed off on 15 compact amendments, allowing for retail and online wagering at tribal gaming facilities in the state. A 16th agreement could also reach his desk this week.

Maryland mulls regulations

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan made history when he signed online and retail sports wagering into law in May this year. The legislation, HB 940, allows for betting in casinos, stadiums, and racetracks. However, before that can begin, the state’s gaming regulator must set up the market’s framework.

The MLGCC will meet on Thursday to vote on the first draft of its 228-page regulations. The public will also have the opportunity to submit their opinions on the rules during an official 30-day public comment period. The regulations themselves run parallel with the legislation signed by Gov. Hogan, which allows for 100 licenses in total.

According to HB 940, Maryland will offer ten licenses for state casinos, 30 class B retail licenses, and an additional 60 for online. BetMGM, Barstool Sports, DraftKings, and FanDuel have all expressed a desire to enter the state’s online market.

In addition to laying out rules for operators, the first draft also makes clear that the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission will focus on minority participation during its selection of sportsbook applicants. The body will consider minority and women equity when deciding whether to accept each company.

Applicants wanted in Wyoming

Wyoming could see sports betting as early as September 1. Governor Mark Gordon signed HB 133 into law in April and the Wyoming Gaming Commission has finalized its rules for the new market. Now, all that’s left is for sportsbook operators to submit their applications – a process that begins on Thursday this week.

DraftKings, FanDuel, Barstool, and BetMGM have all registered their intent to apply

According to the WGC, sports betting operators can apply through the regulator’s website, which will also list “directives” regarding the licensing process, the state’s betting catalog, and integrity monitoring. DraftKings, FanDuel, Barstool, and BetMGM have all registered their intent to apply.

Once the market is up and running, Wyoming residents will have access to online-only sports wagering. The market allows for five online sportsbook licensees, with each paying $100,000 per permit. Operators can then renew their licenses every five years for a fee of $50,000 per year. They will also pay a tax of 10% on sports betting revenue.

Washington tribal betting incoming

The state of Washington became the first US jurisdiction to legalize sports wagering in 2020 when its governor signed ESHB 2638 into law. The legislation paved the way for tribal gaming operators to open retail and on-site mobile sportsbooks. However, the introduction of sports wagering still requires updated compact amendments.

Governor Jay Inslee signed off on the first of those tribal deals last week. He approved compact amendments with 15 Washington tribes, including the Tulalip Tribes and the Stillaguamish Tribe.

Although the governor has only signed 15 compacts for now, a 16th could reach his desk this week. Once each tribal leader has also signed the contracts they will go to the Department of the Interior for approval within a 45-day window.

Washington sports betting backers are hoping the market might open in time for the NFL season in the fall.