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Ballot to be conducted on Sports Betting for Maryland voters in November

Ballot to be conducted on Sports Betting for Maryland voters in November

The current discussion on whether to legalise gambling on sports events in Maryland will reach its conclusion in November where the voters will be the decisive factor. The General Assembly on Wednesday has approved a measure placing a referendum on the fall ballot which will take on the final day of this year’s truncated legislative session. 


However, lawmakers scratched out various key operational details which might be revealed some other day, mainly because the House of Delegates balked at the bill that passed in the Senate.


The original referendum sponsored by Senator Craig J. Zucker suggested betting on sports at nine locations which included the state’s largest race tracks, six casinos and FedEx Field, and home of the Washington Redkins. The draft also allowed venues with on-site betting licenses to operate an online betting app which would have led Maerylanders to place wagers from anywhere in the state, including from their homes. 


For much of the disappointment, the House of Delegates rejected the Senate’s original version for sports gaming, but was ready to support a stripped down measure to give some push in order to generate funds for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future education reforms. 

The chances of lawmakers taking up the issue again in May is very less, but plans for a one-week special session will work as hoped for legislative leaders. 


Further, the details about how Maryland would roll out sports gambling would be left to decide by future General Assembly- assuming voters approve of the ballot initiative in November. 


Right now, the Redskins are playing in Landover at FedEx Field, a facility which is oversized by modern standards and monotonous as NFL stadiums go. Now, as for Baltimore’s Orioles and Ravens, if they ever wanted a gambling license, they never openly showed their interest, even though both teams are amply represented in the capital. 


Before the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the legislative analysts estimated that sports gambling would take in $21 million a year. But now it is really uncertain for Maryland voters to risk money on sporting events during as time of intense economic disaster.