he Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) is pushing lawmakers to give MLB's Baltimore Orioles and NFL's Ravens a wider and more competitive position in the sports betting market.
Legislation under consideration by the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee would allow wagering at stadiums only on game days or during special events. The stadium authority, the landlord of both teams' stadiums, sent a letter to lawmakers to make a case that the Orioles and Ravens just want to be competitive, WBALTV reports. The teams want to operate year-round, and in addition to an in-person sports betting license, they are seeking a mobile betting app.
"We haven't made any decisions on that specifically. The one thing that we are very clear about is that we are going to do equally all the sports teams. Whatever we do for one of the sports teams, we are going to do for all the sports teams," Senate Budget and Taxation Committee Chairman Guy Guzzone said.
Maryland Stadium Authority Chairman Thomas Kelso made a push in a letter to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, writing: "I respectfully request that you amend HB940 to allow all the professional sports teams in Maryland to have both brick-and-mortar and digital licenses that are not restricted to the actual days/times when professional sports events are conducted."
"It is absolutely open to amendment, and we are working on those amendments right now. Hopefully, we will have something by the end of the week, certainly by the beginning of next week," Guzzone said.
The Maryland Stadium Authority letter also makes the case for year-round sports betting, saying the goal is to increase foot traffic in the area around Camden Yards, M&T Bank Stadium and Horseshoe Casino. The stadium authority officials said they want to turn the area into a vibrant entertainment district.
Although the end of the legislative session is coming up fast, Guzzone said he's confident the committee will finish work on the sports betting bill by the end of this week and send it to the full Senate by the middle of next week. The House sports betting bill could go to the Senate floor next week. If changes are made, the House will have to vote on those changes before the session ends at midnight on April 12.