Maryland State senator Shelly Hettleman has proposed a bill named SB 620 before the Maryland Senate Energy, Education, and Environment Committee that would prohibit any Maryland colleges from partnering with sportsbook operators “if the institution of higher education receives compensation for student participation in certain sports wagering.”
The bill is designed to curb the type of deals such as the one between PointsBet and the University of Colorado, as was reported in November by the New York Times. Colorado reportedly received $1.6 million with an additional $30 for every new signup using a referral code provided by the school.
If passed, SB 620 would prohibit this type of arrangement, and with over a dozen schools already in some sort of partnership with sportsbook operators, including the University of Maryland. Hettleman was happy Maryland didn’t have the same partnership as the one in Colorado but intended for the bill to get ahead of what could become a major legal issue.
“I was horrified at that and thought that should not happen in Maryland,” Hettleman said in a recent interview with Sports Handle. “I quickly picked up the phone and called our flagship university here and said, ‘Do you guys do this?’ And was assured they did not.”
SB 620 could pass as soon as the Old Line States legislation cycle ends, ending April 10. Hettleman said she has the support of Maryland colleges and universities and was happy to report
“I have to tell you, so far, I’m not getting opposition from our university system,” Hettleman said. “I’m pleased about that.”
Here’s what Maryland Sports Bettors Need to Know about SB 620
- Would prohibit colleges and universities from profiting directly or offering their students incentives to sign-up for sports betting accounts
- SB 260 doesn’t prohibit Maryland colleges and universities from partnering with sportsbook operators but bans any colleges from forming sportsbook partnerships where the school directly targets individual Maryland students and profits as a result
- Maryland colleges and universities are prohibited from profiting from direct email and texts offering promo codes, sign-up bonuses, odds boosts and free betting credits
- Maryland colleges and universities aren’t opposing SB 260, and the bill could become law before the April 10 Maryland State Legislature calendar