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Big changes in gambling legislation could be coming to Maryland in 2021

| January 17, 2021, 09:23 AM

When the November 2020 elections came around, the decision to legalize sports betting in Maryland was left in the hands of the voters. The voters spoke and were heard when the ballots were counted and online sports betting was officially legalized. The next step now is to create a structure and regulations around what Maryland’s sports betting market will look like. Lawmakers are working toward finalizing the details of the legislation to officially launch sports betting at some point in 2021. Maryland is home to an affluent population that is tech-savvy and highly educated and any legislation that is passed needs to fit the profile of the consumers asking for the sports betting industry to come to fruition. The market will likely speak to its population by way of innovation and convenience, but there is still much left unsaid about what sports betting will look like in Maryland this year.

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A Market That’s Focused Online

While there are land-based casinos and race tracks in Maryland that will be looking into having physical sportsbooks and have a hand in creating a more affluent iGaming sector, more online options will likely be available to those in the state. People have changed the way they consume information as well as conduct day to day activities. The convenience offered by wireless internet connections makes it easier and more efficient for an individual to read the news, play a game or even do their shopping. With this in mind, the iGaming and sports betting landscape will have to be accessible from anywhere within the state to be successful. If not, it looks as though the state will not be able to take full advantage of the gambling market and might face major losses.

An Innovative Outlook

Technological advancements can be seen in many industries in the world and even more so in the field of online casino gaming. For example, in Canada, innovations made it possible for Canadians to participate in eSports, social casinos, sportbetting, fantasy leagues, and more. This led to a renaissance of the Canadian casino industry due to the boom in safe and trustworthy gaming in Canada. In the Canadian market, the quick pace of innovation is still influencing changes in legislation and creating an entirely new atmosphere of innovation. Maryland will need to look at how these innovations could change the gambling landscape and make sure that the official legislation is set up in a way that feeds the modern consumer but respects the balance between online gaming and land-based gaming. Furthermore, in Ontario, changes to the legislation are underway to allow private operators to enter the province, whereas previously the gambling industry was regulated and operated by the local government.

The question of how many operators will be allowed and in what form (online or land-based) is the biggest concern for many supporters of sports betting and iGaming. With the legalization of sports betting, the state is brought one step closer to growing an online gambling market like no other and should learn from its neighboring states as to what customers are looking for, as well as how customer-friendly strategies can fuel the rise and the overall success of the industry.

Gains for the State

An innovative outlook on online gambling and sports betting is something that seems sure to work in Maryland, especially since the state has had success in its gambling operations thus far. Maryland already has a research program that looks into issues and behaviors that cause problem gambling and how to manage its effects, making for a safer gaming environment, called the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling. Additionally, gambling has made significant contributions to the Maryland Education Trust Fund over the years since casino gaming was legalized in the state, with 2017 marking $1.8 billion received from casinos. The move to new forms of gambling in the state and the potential of different platforms will surely make even more of a contribution to the state in the coming months and years ahead after the launch is finalized. The question of whether or not to allow smaller businesses to hold sports betting licenses are still being examined as this could lead to smaller sportsbooks cutting into the business of big casinos, but could allow for more sports betting options for those residing in and visiting Maryland.

Severn Bank

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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