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Maryland’s iGaming industry seems to be set for a green light after election

| November 04, 2020, 07:54 AM

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SOURCE: Photo

Although the US Presidential Election has dominated the local and national news in recent months, citizens of Maryland also voted on Question 2 of Senate Bill 4, which would determine the future of regulated online sports betting in the state.

Question 2 asked the people of Maryland to decide whether they approve of the “expansion of commercial gaming” in the state to permit “sports and events betting” to help increase state revenues for education. It is the second time that online sports betting has been pushed for a referendum, with the previous attempt left on the Senate floor at the time of its adjournment in April 2018.

There has been substantial investment from those in favor of legalizing online sports betting in the state. The “Vote Yes on Question 2” campaign has captured the imagination of locals and has also gained support from leading sports betting operators that would be keen to launch their sportsbooks in Maryland – FanDuel and DraftKings.

The pair have invested $750,000 collectively towards television ad campaigns, which have pinpointed the Baltimore region largely but have also branched out into the Washington metropolitan region.

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Both FanDuel and DraftKings started in the daily fantasy sports (DFS) realm of the online betting industry, but have since expanded into sports betting and online casino games, which have also been a subject for possible legalization in the near future. However, proposals for a vote on online casinos, catering for real money slotsand table games like blackjack and poker, now look unlikely to happen until the end of 2021 at the earliest.

SB 325, which would have reversed the constitutional requirement on online gambling, was approved by 46 to 1 votes in February, but it remains in the House of Delegates for the time being due to its early adjournment for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The legalization of online sports betting is also on the ballot in South Dakota and Louisiana, as multiple states look to find creative ways of increasing revenues for public services. At this point, it looks like the people have spoken and the initiative will be approved and made into law. Previous records for gambling referenda in New York, Arkansas, Colorado, and New Jersey all concluded in favor of the industry’s expansion – albeit the latter was achieved through the Supreme Court.

SOURCE: Photo

The legalization of sports betting hasn’t always been a ballot question across the US. However, Maryland’s legislature introduced a law that would require the public to take to the ballot box to vote on the additional expansion of the betting industry. That’s because the legislation was needed as a compromise to usher through the construction of new land-based casinos in 2007.

There’s no doubt that the bill was pushed through quicker than most would like. Senate Bill 4’s minimalist appearance fails to outline tax rates, licensing conditions, and even the kinds of sports that would be made eligible for wager. The thinking is that the meat can be put on the bones once the vote is passed; now it is wait and see.

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Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Fahie

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages. She can usually be found on a baseball field!

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