Latest Gambling News: Maryland House Committee Passes Online Gaming Bill, and more

Kat Pilkington


March 18, 2024

Catch up on six of the stories our gambling compliance analysts have covered lately, and stay up-to-date on the latest news.

Maryland House Committee Passes Online Gaming Bill

An amended bill to legalize online gaming in Maryland was passed Wednesday (March 13) by the House Ways and Means Committee, sending it to the House floor for consideration.

Among the proposed changes, committee chair Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary, a Democrat, wants to increase the total number of licenses from 12 to 30 available to the state's six land-based casinos and so-called Class B sports wagering facility licenses, including off-track betting outlets and charitable bingo halls.

The state’s six brick-and-mortar casinos would be entitled to one and three licenses.

Atterbeary noted House Bill 1319 bans credit cards to fund iGaming accounts, requires operators to set limits on deposits and play, as well as creates a voluntary exclusion list of patrons identified as problem gamblers.

If approved by the Maryland legislature and signed by Democratic Governor Wes Moore, the issue of legalizing iGaming will be placed on the November ballot.

Delegate Chao Wu, a Democrat, said his yes vote on Wednesday was due to his concern over a lack of funding for the state’s education system.

“Personally, I don’t support gambling,” Wu said. “I’m afraid of job losses and some other issues. This bill will support education, which I support. I really trust our voters to make an informed decision at election time.”

Louisiana Considers Ban On Sports-Betting, Fantasy Sports Ads

Representative Shaun Mena, a Democrat from New Orleans, has introduced a bill banning any television advertising for sports betting and fantasy sports in Louisiana.

Mena’s two-page bill states that any advertising “shall result in revocation of the sports wagering license.”

House Bill 727 has been referred to the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice. As of Wednesday (March 13), Mena’s measure was pending a committee hearing.

This is not the first bill introduced in Louisiana to restrict sports-betting advertising. Last year, the legislature passed, and former Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards signed, Senate Bill 191 prohibiting any state college or university from entering a sports-betting marketing or advertising partnership.

The passage of SB 1919 led to Louisiana State University ending its multi-year deal with Caesars Entertainment, which was announced in September 2021 but came under scrutiny after The New York Times reported that mass emails were sent to LSU students promoting wagering with Caesars Sportsbook.  Caesars executives told The Times the email was mistakenly sent to underage students.

Pennsylvania Seeks Entry Into Multi-State Gaming Agreement

In an effort to allow in-state online poker players to compete with those in other states, Republican state Representative George Dunbar has filed a bill that would allow Pennsylvania to join the Multi-State Internet Agreement (MSIGA).

House Bill 2078 has been referred to the House Gaming Oversight Committee. If approved, Pennsylvania would join West Virginia, Michigan, Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey as a member of MSIGA.

“This action, also known as ‘shared liquidity,’ is critical to a healthy on-line poker system,” Dunbar said in a memo to his colleagues. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported online poker revenue of $2.65m in January, down 8.18 percent from $2.89m in the same month last year.

“Much like what we have seen with multistate lottery contests, joining MSIGA will mean more players in the overall player pool,” Dunbar said. “This makes for bigger tournaments allowing operators to offer bigger guarantees.”

UK Regulator Appoints Industry Forum

The UK Gambling Commission has selected the members of its industry forum, which it says will provide the regulator with insights directly from operators on new and proposed regulations.

From more than 40 applications, the commission selected ten members, including representatives from Merkur, Flutter, Entain and Rank Group.

The forum is chaired by the former head of the British Horseracing Authority and ex-Ladbrokes executive, Nick Rust.

“We had more than 40 applications from across the gambling industry from people wanting to take an active role in the inaugural Industry Forum.

“It was difficult to leave quite a few of those people out, but I’m delighted with the quality and experience of the appointees, and hope as a group we can offer perspectives from across all parts of the industry which the Commission can draw upon to help evolve and improve its performance as the regulator.”

The full list of members includes: Tony Boulton; Kirsty Caldwell; Charles Cohen; Ashley Padgett; Mark Pearson; Nigel Roddis; Leo Walker; Helen Walton; and David Williams.

The group will hold its first meeting on March 21.

Pennsylvania May Ban Credit Cards For Online Gambling

A Pennsylvania lawmaker plans to introduce legislation that would ban credit cards from being used to fund online gaming accounts, including sports betting.

Credit cards would also be prohibited from use in funding internet lottery, online casino games, and fantasy sports, according to a co-sponsorship memo issued by state Senator Wayne Fontana, a Democrat.

Fontana said he believed that gambling and credit card debt often go hand in hand as problem gambling can lead to financial problems that affect one’s ability to pay off debt.

“With the average Pennsylvanian having a credit card balance that exceeds $5,640, online gaming should not be another scenario to accumulate more debt,” Fontana said.

Other states that prohibit the use of credit cards to fund online gaming and sports-betting accounts include Iowa, Tennessee, and Massachusetts.

As of Monday (March 11), Fontana had yet to introduce his measure.

Standard General Proposes Taking Bally’s Private

Standard General submitted a proposal on Monday (March 11) to purchase the remaining shares in Bally’s Corp. and take the gaming company private.

The $15 per share offer is a 41 percent premium on Friday’s close of $10.42, with shares in Bally’s gaining $3.02, or 28.44 percent to close Monday at $13.64 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Currently, Standard General is the company’s largest shareholder with 23.2 percent and whose principal Soohyung Kim is chairman of the board of Bally’s.

This is not the first time Standard General has attempted to take Bally’s private. On January 25, 2022, Standard General proposed a $38 per share offer, which the board rejected. Bally’s board will appoint a special independent committee to consider the transaction.

Standard General will not move forward unless approved.

“We believe that the prospects for the company have changed meaningfully since Standard General’s January 2022 offer,” Truist Securities analyst Barry Jonas said in a research note.  

Jonas wrote that Bally’s has not proven formidable in the North American interactive gaming market. The company is building a casino in Chicago, the company underwent a management transition early in 2023, and has announced plans to close its Tropicana casino in Las Vegas and replace it with a baseball stadium.

Want to know more?

Request a demo with one of our experts today to gain full access to the stories we cover - and much more - and start learning how you can make compliance a competitive advantage for your organisation.

Book a Demo

What our clients say

"Vixio Regulatory Compliance offers excellent legal and regulatory analysis and provides us with a trustworthy, organised and credible single source solution, which keeps us ahead of the game."


"Vixio GamblingCompliance is an invaluable source of regulatory information, making it an excellent tool for the gambling industry. The quality of analysis is unmatched and the ease of use searching for topics, regions and themes makes it very simple to identify relevant stories."

Morgan Stanley

Senior Researcher

"Vixio GamblingCompliance is crucial to keeping a finger on the pulse of gambling regulation. Accessing a single, credible source of information and news helps us efficiently evolve our systems to align with regulatory developments."

PayPal UK

Head of Risk Management

"Hands down one of the most unique full suite sources of this subject matter anywhere."

UnionPay International

Managing Counsel

"The ever-increasing change coming from various regulators in different territories makes Vixio Regulatory Intelligence a must for a compliance team at a business like ours."


Head of Legal & Compliance

"Using Vixio PaymentsCompliance gives us a comprehensive view of the critical changes in regulation in our key markets, and reduces our business resource requirement which saves us on average £100k per annum, we wouldn't be without it!"

Well known e-money company

Regulatory Compliance Team Lead

Download Brochure

Insights and intelligence for some of the world’s biggest brands

To find out more about Vixio, contact us today