On November 3, 2020, around 67% of Maryland voters said ‘Yes’ to the legalization of sports wagering. However, the bill had to pass in the Senate and House. In theory, sports wagering is legal in the state, but we still need to wait for some time before its final launch. Let’s take a closer look.
What’s the Current Situation With Sports Betting in Maryland?
Even though Maryland residents voted to legalize sports wagering, bettors will have to wait until the state legislature defines the tax rate and licensing regulations. Knowing how many issues the state legislature is dealing with right now, sports betting will probably not be legalized until the second part of 2021.
There are six casinos that will most likely be the first to offer sports betting and pari-mutual wagering on horse racing, raffles, bingo, and a state lottery. The good news is, all conditions for sports wagering are met, and it’s just a matter of time before everything starts.
As a reminder, in May 2018, the Supreme Court abolished PASPA, also known as the Bradley Act, effectively ending the nationwide ban on sports betting that had been in force for about two and a half decades. Today, each state has the right to pass its own sports wagering laws. WSN.com has all the in depth knowledge on this subject. They state that it’s up to the citizens of Maryland themselves with the state legislature to legalize.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA or the Bradley Act) is a judicially-overturned law. PASPA was meant to define the legal status of sports betting on the territory of the USA. The Bradley Act outlawed sports betting nationwide, excluding a few states.
Marylanders have shown an interest in legal sports wagering. Even Gov. Larry Hogan expressed his support for the bill. In November 2018, the Washington Post and the University of Maryland conducted a poll, asking Maryland residents whether they are for the legalization of sports betting. The results have shown that 53% of registered voters were in favor, while 37% opposed.
When to Expect the Launch?
As mentioned, it’s just a matter of time. It’s up to the state legislature to finish the discussion about the details and everything may finalize by mid to late 2021. However, it may be more realistic to look at 2022 as the final year.
Is There Any Legal Online Sports Betting Site in the State?
There are no legal online sports betting sites in Maryland at the moment, but there is a hope sports wagering websites will launch once the legalization finalizes. Marylanders can currently bet on out-of-the-state websites.
What Sports Are Expected to Attract the Most Action?
When sports betting arrives in Maryland, these are the sports that will drive the biggest attention:
And, of course, it’s no surprise that football is taking the no. 1 spot considering that since 1996 the Baltimore Ravens have called Maryland home.
The Benefits from Legalization Are Large
The discussion about sports betting legalization has drawn the attention of almost every citizen of the United States. Even though a significant number is against it, no one can deny the positive sides of it. Especially now when some states, like New Jersey, have already reaped the fruits from the legalization. NJ pulled a $78.7 million revenue from online gambling and sports wagering just in December 2020.
That being said, the legalization of sports wagering can have a great positive impact on the state’s economy. The overall situation would cause the need for new jobs. Residents would have the opportunity to seek better jobs both in online and traditional sports gambling spaces.
What’s more, when sports betting is legalized, it’s kept under control. The state authorities can monitor and regulate it. That way, customers are more protected, and there is no space for fraud. Even though experienced fraudsters are all over the gambling world, legalization exists to stop them from succeeding.
Legalized sports wagering will increase the number of bettors. It is the growth that will bring more revenue to the gambling world and the state’s economy. Take an example of 2018, when the gambling industry generated $79.42 billion for the US economy (Source: Statista). The numbers speak for themselves.
In the interview for PresBox, senator Craig Zucker said: ”Sports gambling is not something I’m passionate about. What I am passionate about is making sure we’re bringing taxpayer money back into Maryland and not losing it to other states and making sure [the] revenue that could be generated — that is currently going to other states — we bring back to Maryland and help fund things that we have shared values over like education. So that’s really where my passion is — making sure that we’re able to fund education and making sure that Marylanders have an opportunity to do something they prefer in Maryland and not have to go elsewhere to do it.”
The legalization of sports wagering brings many benefits for the overall economy and Maryland is among those that recognize its potential. Let’s see how the future will unfold in the state.