Finally! It passed! Sports betting is legal in Maryland! After such a long time waiting and watching our surrounding neighbor states pass laws legalizing sports betting, and seeing massive revenue increases, Maryland voters decided that it was time to pass sports betting, and it happened with overwhelming support. It comes at the perfect time as well. The Kirwan Commission needs sources for funding for educational purposes, and other education funding is what this revenue is primarily being used for. We will have to keep up with the news and hold our elected officials accountable for that funding being allocated correctly.
What is next though? Can I bet on the Ravens game this weekend? No, sadly, I can not. We voted on the broad legalization of sports betting for the state. Basically, with no details, they asked and we said yes. Now, the General Assembly must decide the specifics: where we can place our bets (online, casinos, stadiums), what companies will be allowed to operate in the state (FanDuel, DraftKings, William Hill), and what we can bet on (college sports, professional sports, e-sports). Because the General Assembly does not meet until 2021, and COVID-19 still being present, possibly later, Marylanders will not be able to place a legal sports bet until late spring 2021 at the earliest.
My hope, is that Governor Hogan, along with the entire Maryland Legislature, will figure out a way to meet and continue to pass laws for our state, including specifics regarding sports betting. Whether they meet in person and social distance in chambers, or hold virtual meetings, I believe it is imperative that they pass that bill and have a plan set up so that the momentum from this victory is not lost and a future bill is not pushed down the ladder. For now though, I will certainly enjoy the success and major victory that just occurred. Maryland is one step closer to competing with other states, keeping Maryland money in state, and attracting more people to our state.
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