Residents in Maryland will play a large role in the future of the state’s gaming industry come November as Question 2 is asking voters to decide if the state should legalize sports betting or not.
This is something that racetracks and casinos have wanted for quite some time, but there’s still a long ways to go even if voters do approve of Question 2.
The urgency for sports betting is partly due to the budget and economic issues stemming from the pandemic and partly because neighboring states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey are reaping the financial rewards of the sports betting industry.
With that said, there seems to be more questions than answers when it comes to what exactly voters are going to approve or reject in November.
While voters across the country will be heading to the polls on November 3rd to decide on the next President of the United States, Maryland residents will also have to decide on sports betting as well when they vote on Question 2 which asks the following:
“Do you approve the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland to authorize sports and events betting for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education?”
The simplicity of this question is very clear by its wording as to what it’s asking. Residents will either vote yes or no on legalizing sports betting. Additionally, the way this question is worded makes it easy to understand where the revenue is going.
However, many residents and critics are confused and asking questions of their own regarding what the actual sports betting platform will look like.
Right now, there’s very little details about what sports betting would look like in Maryland. This has left residents, proponents and critics confused about the future of gaming expansion.
Basically, Question 2 essentially works as a blank slate and is really just meant to give state leaders a green light on gaming expansion or to stop it in its tracks.
In other words, the State Legislature wants the public’s input and permission before really hammering out what sports betting would look like.
As of now, all that has been made clear is where the revenue will go and when sports betting would become legal.
The revenue raised will go into the Education Trust Fund to help schools and meet other educational needs in the state. Yet, without a set tax rate for sports betting, voters have no idea if this gambling expansion could actually help out financially or not.
If Question 2 is approved then the new law would go into effect on July 2nd, 2021. Legislators will most likely begin the legal process of building a sports betting platform on January 13th, 2021, which is the start of a 90 day long legislative session.
At that point, the Legislature will have to determine many vital aspects of sports betting like what the tax rate will be, what sports will be wagered on, and whether or not to allow mobile betting.
Another major piece that’s not getting much attention at all when discussing Question 2 is the allowance of Daily Fantasy Sports. Currently, companies like DraftKings and FanDuel are not allowed to operate in Maryland.
However, if Question 2 is passed then DFS will also be allowed starting next summer. Fantasy sports is a popular activity among bettors and sports fans. Additionally, companies like DraftKings and FanDuel double up as both Daily Fantasy Sports operators and sportsbooks.
Although slow to the table, Maryland could finally join nearly half the country in legalizing sports betting next year along with allowing the popular Daily Fantasy Sports.
November will be a key moment in the state’s quest for gambling expansion. Either Maryland will catch up with the times or it will be left in the dust as its neighbors not only cash in on their own residents, but will also continue to generate revenue from Maryland residents crossing the borders to bet on sports.
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