More and more states in the US are finally heading towards the legalization of local sports betting within their territories. This started in May 2018 when the Supreme Court of the United States have stricken down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act or PASPA of 1992. Since then, sports betting has been made federally legal and each state is given the freedom to decide whether they should allow betting within their borders.
Currently, there are already over 20 states with legal sports betting. Many US casinos are now accepting sports wagers especially in the states of New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada, Illinois, New York, Iowa, and a few more. States like Maryland, however, is just starting to head towards its legislation.
The recent election revealed how the locals of Maryland approve the legalization of sports betting. The voters in the state approved of the ballot question by a 2-1 margin. The yes vote that the state accounted for 68.8 percent of the casted ballots. That’s several around 1,867/310. Meanwhile, no votes only accounted for 32.2 percent or 920,524 of the casted ballots.
The sports betting referendum was voted on by the senate with 47-0 earlier this year. Even if the voters have also already approved this, the Senate will still have to vote on enabling the legislation for it to be launched. Overall, the process could take around a year.
When it comes to the main benefactor of the sports betting revenue that the state will get once it is up and running, it would be the education system of Maryland. This was approved by the Maryland General Assembly. They all agreed that the vast majority of the funds would go toward education and this was also posed to the voters via referendum.
Senator Craig Zucker who is a Montgomery County Democrat was known to have sponsored the sports betting legislation. He was interviewed by CBS Baltimore about this and said, “It’s very important in this age of COVID, where the economy is still suffering, that any additional revenue we can get from sports betting will help to close the budget gap around education.”
Senator Zucker said that the most pressing question that needed an answer was whether the locals approve of it and surely, they do judging by the results of the recent elections. He said, “What else is included and how those bets are made, that’s to be determined. I think the biggest obstacle that we were facing was: Do Marylanders approve it or not? And I think there was a resounding yes.”
And so, the locals of this state will soon be able to enjoy sports wagering. However, there is still a lot to discuss when it comes to how this will be implemented by the state. The founder of a law firm in the state that covers the local gambling industry shared his thoughts on how the state will be regulating betting.
Ifrah said that the law will probably allow retail betting licenses at places like horse racing tracks, casinos, and sports stadiums. He also said that it’s likely that mobile betting will also be allowed. Overall, he thinks that the state may only be able to launch it by Super Bowl 2022.
He said, “Assuming [legislators] could get all their ducks in a row, I would think that it’s not unrealistic for them to be done by the end of next year and ready to stand up some initially licensed operators.”
Gordon Medenica, the director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency spoke to WBAL-TV that it may be launched rather quickly. He said, “If the bill is very streamlined, straightforward, sports betting for the casinos, and let’s say horse tracks as well, they can get up and running very quickly. Most of those entities have contractual relationships with several major sports betting providers.”
When it comes to what Senator Zucker thinks about mobile betting, he said, “I can’t imagine a scenario where the state wouldn’t allow it online.”
State officials are estimating that sports betting will generate an amount between 20 million and 40 million US dollars each year. They also anticipate that around 80 percent of the wagers will be from the online or mobile sector. This is just like how it is in the state of New Jersey where 80 to 90 percent of the state’s sports betting handles are from online and mobile wagers.