Voters in Maryland will soon be able to decide in this fall on whether sports betting should be legal in the state. Already, professional sports leagues are excited and have embraced the idea of legalized sports betting in the state.
Ever since the Supreme Court found the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 to be unconstitutional back in May 2018, states have been free to regulate sports betting. Since the momentous decision was made, 22 states have so far legalized sports betting while others, including Massachusetts, Ohio, and California continue to sit on the fence regarding this issue.
While sports betting has taken off almost as soon as bills have been signed into law in other states, voters in Maryland, Louisiana, and South Dakota will be considering provision on the November 3 ballot, which is what will finally give the green light for sports betting in the state.
The constitution in the state requires voters to approve any amendments to commercial wagering laws. Voters have to approve the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland. This would effectively legalize sports and events betting, the funds of which would then be utilized for raising revenue for education.
Once the measure is approved, it will give the state the mandate of regulating sports betting and how it would be implemented. If successful, the Maryland legislature should be expected to implement legal sports betting at the 6 casinos and its thoroughbred tracks. in the state sometime next year.
The General Assembly will have complete power to determine which entities- casinos, sports teams or leagues, racetracks- would offer sports betting, how many would be allowed to operate betting apps, how much each of the licensees would be taxed and how much of the profits would actually be dedicated to education in the state.
If successful, Maryland will join neighboring jurisdictions that have also allowed sports wagering such as West Virginia, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, and Delaware. The good news is that things look favorable for the legalization of sports betting in the state. This isn’t the first time voters have been put to the task in regards to gambling.
In 2008, Marylanders voted for the state to authorize slot machines licenses and in 2012, table games were approved as well as the opening of a new casino in Prince George’s County. Legislators and lobbyists anticipate that once brick and mortar casinos are allowed to operate mobile apps, sports betting will blow up in the state.
What’s the future of sports betting on the state once it’s approved?
Once betting is approved, residents could have as many as half a dozen sports betting apps to choose from. In the next coming years, punters can even expect in-stadium betting at every seat. Sports betting kiosks will be freely available either at the stadiums themselves or locations close by. The state is also expected to permit betting on professional as well as college games, potentially including University of Maryland sports contests.
In a couple of years, Maryland could very well be at par with New Jersey’s sports betting market which has emerged as the sports gambling capital of America (for an in-depth review feel free to check out this resource: https://www.njgamblingfun.com/nj/nj-sports-betting) . As a matter of fact, sports betting would not be legal were it not for New Jersey’s fight. New Jersey currently doesn’t allow bets on its in-state college teams to protect the integrity of college sports in the Garden State.
States that have already legalized sports betting are already reaping the results. Case in point, Illinois sports betting, which only approved sports betting took in 62 million in bets in the first month. If Maryland sports betting earnings were taxed at a decent 20%, the annual share would hit just shy of 18 million. After a few years, proponents of legal sports betting claim that the number could rise twice as high.
Licensees alone have to pay a one-time application of approximately $2.5 million. The licenses will have to be renewed annually at an extra charge. This should be enough to pull the state out of the economic hole it currently finds itself in.
Aside from Virginia, most other states in the mid-Atlantic have already legalized sports betting in some form so Maryland is a little late to the party. Even Washington D.C has already approved legal sports betting. In light of the current pandemic that has resulted in economic crisis all over the state and entire country, Maryland must ensure that its casino industry remains competitive with regional competitors.
This is the only way it is going to prevent punters in the state from seeking out the competition. Most people would agree that Maryland dollars should remain in Maryland. The good news is that sports fans and punters in the state are ready and highly anticipating the arrival of sports betting in the state.
A legalized sports betting market will not only ensure that betting dollars stay in the state Currently, sports betting dollars are being diverted to legal markets in neighboring states as well as other offshore accounts. Legalizing the industry will bring everything above board, thus protecting bettors as it will effectively shut down any illegal betting sites that typically offer bettors no protection.
Above all else, a legalized sports betting market in Maryland will guarantee that bettors have the best experience possible as they will have their pick of the litter as to which sportsbooks and online casinos they should use.
It’s been 10 years since Maryland’s first casino opened its doors to punters in the state. However, by November 3rd, 2020, residents will have decided whether or not to approve Ballot Question 2.
Thousands of dollars have already been invested by companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel with the intent of swaying voters to vote yes on Question 2. As November approaches quickly, there is a lot that punters can look forward to. But for now, all anyone can do is watch and wait to see what happens.