Marylanders voted in favor of legal sports betting in November 2020, and over a year later, the state finally opened its first legal in-person sportsbook. There are now numerous retail sports books and betting sites in Maryland, and the industry has rapidly expanded in a very short space of time.
But what are the benefits of legal betting for the state on the whole?
Tax Revenue is Substantial
Mobile betting is a substantial market that could generate tens of millions in tax revenue for the state of Maryland. According to Governor Larry Hogan, as much as 90% of total sports betting revenue will be processed by digital sportsbooks.
It’s one of the reasons why Hogan and others pushed for the launch of mobile betting, which took over a year to arrive in the state after the legalization of in-person betting.
The result is that it is easier and more convenient than ever for people to bet. They don’t need to visit a retail sportsbook or even leave the house, and we’re already seeing the benefits of that.
It’s still early, but some experts predict that tax revenue will exceed $30 million a year. Most of that money will be pumped into the Maryland Department of Education’s Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund, which will fund several programs.
It Increases Jobs and Tourism
You can’t legally gamble just because you are a Maryland citizen or were born in the state. You must be in the state when you bet, even if you’re passing through.
As a result, legal mobile betting states are turning into tourist destinations. With sports betting now legal across several states, it’s unlikely that Maryland will be transformed into a virtual Vegas, but it could still attract outsiders.
More importantly, the industry needs workers. From the people who take bets and deal with admin to the customer support, tech, and content teams, the industry could generate hundreds if not thousands of jobs for the local economy.
It Will Increase Problem Gambling
There’s no escaping the fact that legal and convenient gambling will increase problem gambling rates. Legal gambling does create a safer way for interested parties to place bets on sports games, but the rates of gambling addiction will climb.
The question is whether or not the pros outweigh the cons, and for the majority, they do. Moreover, legal gambling operators all use tools designed to spot irresponsible gambling and employ methods that promote safer and more responsible betting.
Summary: Legal Betting in Maryland
Maryland isn’t the first state in the US to legalize remote sports betting, nor is the United States the first country in the world. Online gaming and sports betting have been legal in parts of the world since the birth of the internet.
As a result, this is not unexplored territory. We know how to promote mobile/online gambling responsibly, and we also have a good idea of the sort of revenue it can generate.
There are some concerns about these new laws, but on the whole, there are more pros than cons