- The Baltimore Sun recommends that Maryland legalize online poker but not online casino gaming
- The newspaper said it would help minimize the risk of gambling addiction
- Nevada is currently the only US state to have such a setup
Maryland could push for expanded iGaming, including online poker, to address a projected $400 million budget deficit in the next fiscal year, according to the state’s largest newspaper, The Baltimore Sun.
However, the newspaper’s editorial board stated that lawmakers should take a cautious approach on this matter considering the impact it could have on vulnerable people, especially those who are struggling with gambling addiction.
Expanded iGaming Seen as Solution to Upcoming Budget Deficit
Maryland launched its regulated online gambling market in November 2022, allowing sports betting providers to offer their services to players in the state. Now, legislators are contemplating whether to also legalize online poker and online casino gaming as the state braces for a massive budget deficit of $418 million in fiscal 2025 which is expected to balloon in the years ahead.
In an editorial this week, The Baltimore Sun expressed its views on expanded iGaming in Maryland, recommending that the state follow the existing framework in Nevada whereby online poker is allowed, but not online casino gaming. This minimizes the risk of harms and addiction, protecting Marylanders from the negative impact of gambling, the newspaper stated.
Tax revenue from expanded iGaming would help address that budget shortfall, but lawmakers should weigh things carefully, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Could Maryland Follow in Nevada’s Footsteps?
The newspaper suggests a “slow and cautious” expansion especially as the state’s online sports betting market is still relatively new, making it difficult to assess its impact.
Nevada offers regulated online poker and online sports betting but has yet to legalize online casino gaming, making it the only US state to have such a setup. WSOP NV currently enjoys an online poker monopoly in Nevada, but there are speculations BetMGM could soon enter the market.
Should Maryland heed The Baltimore Sun’s advice, it would become just the second state in the US to legalize online poker and sports betting but not online casino gaming. According to the newspaper, Nevada has successfully done it for 10 years, so Maryland can very well adopt the concept.
The Baltimore Sun has come up with another suggestion – allow online poker but only with live dealers.