Marylanders to vote on sports betting in November

Viktor Vangelov | Published 11 May 2020, 3:33 p.m.

We concluded last week with an update on the sports betting situation in Virginia and Michigan and few days before that we reported on the situation in Colorado and Pennsylvania and the fact that these two states have launched online gambling initiatives. In Colorado, sports betting is now available, whereas a Pennsylvania online casino has been launched via Draft Kings.

This time we bring you news regarding Maryland, and it seems that this small state on the Northeast coast of the Atlantic might be one of the following states to legalise sports betting. The issue will be put forward and voters will have a chance to decided whether they want legal sports betting in their state.

State Governor signed the bill

It has already been announced that the issue is going to be presented to all Maryland residents with a right to vote and they will have a chance to reach a decision in November this year. Lawmakers have already confirmed that sports betting will be on the ballot and the state Governor – Larry Hogan has already signed the document last Thursday, which means that now thigs are left in the hands of the citizens. Of course, there will be a campaign, which might be quite intense, considering that there are some people who wouldn’t want to see legal gambling in Maryland.

On the other hand, given the current situation, it is evident that the state budget will fall short, so this will be a useful solution and a way for the state budget to recover at least some of the projected revenue.

Lawmakers gave the motion a pass in March this year, as they were attempting to wrap up the session due to the current situation, and they eventually did manage to pass the motion and send it to Hogan who was somewhat cautious before agreeing to put his signature on the initiative which will place it on the ballot this November.

Another gambling initiative has been approved by the Governor, namely the establishment of the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore which was part of a separate deal.

Opinions are divided

One of the issues that is now discussed is how the proposal will be phrased and what sort of language will be used on the ballot. Those who hope for a negative decision will try to push forward a proposal that includes controversial wording that might motivate voters to reject the motion. However, it seems that the state will propose more neutral, straightforward language and the question will be along the lines of: Are you in favour of legalisation of commercial gaming in this state, so that betting on sports event will be used as a source for raising revenue for the educational system.

Marylanders have been surveyed on the issue in the past and it seems that not everybody in the state is in favour of sports betting legalisation, even though gambling isn’t fully illegal in the state. One poll taken in Baltimore last year shows that 43% of the participants were against online sports betting. However, knowing that this could be a valuable source of income, many might change their opinion.

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