While many states are in a deadlock or at least deep in discussion about legalizing sports betting, Maryland seems to be firm in its decision to move ahead with legislation.
This week, the Maryland state Senate had a unanimous vote of 47-0 to move ahead with a bill that would legalize wagering on sports. The legislation would make it possible for sports enthusiasts to place bets on popular teams like the Terps, Orioles, and Ravens.
Not only did the bill pass unanimously, but there was no discussion needed as everyone was in agreement right from the start. The bill was put forth and sponsored by Senator Craig Zucker D-Montgomery County and seemed to hit the ground running right from the start.
Despite the bill being positively received in the Senate, many of the residents of Maryland have mixed feelings on the issue with some supporting it and others not so sure if it’s the right direction to go.
Examining the Bill Closer
Maryland residents are wondering what is in this bill, which seems to be on the fast-track to approval by the Governor. The bill would make it legal for people to place wagers on professional and college sports.
What would continue to be illegal is placing wagers on high school events/contests. This is the same route that many other states have also taken, choosing to leave high school sports out of the mix. And, it doesn’t end there.
Residents of Maryland will also get a say come November’s election as they vote on whether or not to legalize gambling on a whole host of games.
Tax revenue is a major factor motivating lawmakers to legalize sports betting in Maryland. Sports betting is expected to generate about $20 million annually, with the operators keeping 75%-80% of the profits.
The remaining amount would go to the Education Trust Fund of the state.
At the same time, any licensee would need to make a one-time fee called the application fee of $2.5 million. Moving forward, there would be a yearly renewal process with an additional charge.
What Establishments Would Be Included?
As for what venues and establishments would be allowed to offer legalized sport gambling, that would be Maryland State Fair thoroughbred horse racing tracks, Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course, and the six casinos located in the state.
Additionally, the Washington Redskins football stadium, which is in Prince George’s County, would have the option to allow sports betting. However, there is a stipulation and that’s the fact that the stadium would need huge renovations or a new one would need to be rebuilt.
The next step for the Senate bill is a debate within the Maryland House of Delegates. It’s expected to receive approval and then head to the Governor’s desk.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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