Gaming, Gambling & Fantasy Sports

The Future of Online Casinos in Maryland, Maine, and New York

Published: Mar. 25, 2024

What do Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia all have in common? They have all legalized online casinos. So, who will join them next? Maryland’s iGaming bill has passed through the Maryland House and is now heading to the Senate, but the Maryland electorate must vote to amend the constitution before the bill can become law. Maine’s iGaming bill has made it out of committee and is gaining momentum. Lastly, all eyes are on New York given its outsized impact on the country, but the state’s bill legalizing online casinos appears unlikely to pass.  


On March 16thHB 1319 passed the Maryland House due to a last-minute amendment banning credit card deposits and is now headed to the Senate. The bill allows the state to issue up to 30 iGaming licenses with licensing fees set at $1 million each. iGaming companies would be taxed at 55% to fund Maryland pre-K education. iGaming advocates are skeptical of the bill’s success, as the Maryland Senate failed to pass its own bill legalizing online casinos earlier this year and it’s unlikely that the senators are going to suddenly reverse course on the issue. Even if both the House and Senate pass HB 1319, the Maryland constitution prohibits new forms of gambling unless adopted by popular referendum vote. Therefore, if the bill passes, Maryland voters would be asked on their November ballot whether they are in favor of an amendment to the constitution expanding commercial gaming to include online casinos. If approved by voters, Governor Wes Moore would not need to sign the bill into law. Failure to pass the constitutional amendment in 2024 would likely stall the legalization of iGaming in Maryland until at least the 2026 midterms. 


Maine’s proposed legislation, LD 1777, would legalize online casinos run by federally recognized Indian nations. On January 29th, the bill was tabled by the Joint Standing Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs. However, a month later, on February 29th, the bill reemerged, with House and Senate members on the committee voting 7-6 in favor of an amended version of LD 1777. The amendments increase the tax on iGaming operators to 16% (higher than the 10% tax paid by sports operators) and establish the Maine Gambling Control Unit (GCU) as the regulator for the new gambling sites. Maine’s commercial casinos have opposed the iGaming bill because only Indian nations are eligible for an iGaming license. At this point, the amended LD 1777 has successfully passed through the Joint Standing Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs. 

New York

In January, New York Senator Joseph Addabbo continues his push to legalize iGaming in the state through SB 8185. Per Senator Addabbo, the bill would generate at least one billion dollars in tax revenue for the state. The bill grants the state the power to issue iGaming licenses to sports betting operators, brick-and-mortar casinos, VLT operators, and racinos. Revenue generated by the online casinos would be taxed at 30.5%. To assuage the unions, SB 8185 provides $25 million to help retail casino workers impacted by the legalization of online casinos.

Nevertheless, iGaming legislation in New York is unlikely to pass given strong opposition from many critics. Those critics include advocates worried about gambling addiction and retail casino workers’ unions that are concerned about the impact that online gaming will have on their profession. One telltale sign of the bill’s failure is that Senator Addabbo has said he will not move forward with the legislation until iGaming is in the annual budget, yet Governor Kathy Hochul did not put iGaming into her first draft of the budget. Even though this iGaming bill is unlikely to succeed, Senator Addabbo believes that “with iGaming, it’s not if, but when.”

In conclusion, more and more states continue to legalize online casinos. In particular, Maryland and Maine have active iGaming bills that are making their way through the legislative process. New York’s bill is unlikely to pass, but advocates will continue their efforts to introduce legalized iGaming in the state.