On March 5th, 2020 the Maryland State Senate is expected to pass S 4 to legalize sports betting. The bill’s passage marks one of the earliest sports betting legalization bills in the country to prioritize the sports bettor over the casino industry. Sports Fans Coalition has advocated that the “Sports Bettors Bill of Rights” be included in S 4.
"As states across the country have considered legalizing sports betting, Sports Fans Coalition has advocated for the Sports Bettors’ Bill of Rights, a list of consumer protections that should accompany legalization," said Brian Hess, Executive Director of Sports Fans Coalition.
"Senator Zucker has championed these protections since the beginning, and SFC applauds his measured, fan-first approach to legalizing sports betting in Maryland. While there are still a couple of areas that could be improved, particularly around the sharing of bettors’ data and bettor recourse, S 4 stands among the most consumer-friendly sports betting bills in the country."
The Sports Bettors Bill of Rights includes:
- The Right to Integrity and Transparency
- The Right to Data Privacy and Security
- The Right to Self-Exclusion
- The Right to Protection of the Vulnerable
- The Right to Recourse
These Rights follow a symposium SFC sponsored following the overturning of PASPA in which consumer advocates and academics debated the dangers of a legalized sports betting market and the best to mitigate those harms. Participants in this symposium included the National Consumers League, National Council on Problem Gambling, and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh. This symposium was summarized in a white paper published by Sports Fans Coalition in 2018.
"The National Consumers League, America's pioneering consumer advocacy organization, urges the Maryland Senate to pass SB 4. Absent clear and enforceable consumer protections, there is a danger that legalizing sports betting could open a Pandora's box that could harm Maryland consumers. Fortunately, this common-sense bill will establish guardrails to ensure that sports betting is conducted in a safe and regulated manner in the Old Line State,” said John Breyault, Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications, and Fraud for the National Consumers League.
SFC urges the Maryland House of Delegates to support the same protections and send the Sports Bettors’ Bill of Rights to Governor Hogan to become law.