This year Maryland could join the US states that have legalized sports gambling after the US Supreme Court lifted a ban on sports betting in 2018.
The legislative season in Maryland is scheduled to start on January 8 and the lawmakers will be discussing the sports betting bill – Bill no. 58. It is also the only bill tabled that calls for legalizing sports gambling.
According to the bill, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission would be authorized to issue sports betting licenses to interested parties after a referendum in favor of sports betting legalization.
The bill provides for a referendum in November this year. Sen. Chris West, a Republican has introduced the bill. While as of now this is the only bill for the house to discuss, it remains to be seen if there would be any other bill calling for the legalization of sports betting introduced in the house.
Senator West’s bill says that only those who already have a license for video lottery operation or those who hold a license for thoroughbred racing or harness racing will only be eligible to have a sports betting license. The number of such license holders in the state is 11.
The legislation dictates that the primary purpose of any new sports betting revenue would be to fund education in Maryland.
The two-page proposal reads: “It is the intent of the General Assembly that, if the voters of the State adopt a referendum that authorizes sports wagering in the State, the State revenues generated by sports wagering be used for dedicated purposes including the funding of public education.”
This is not the first time that lawmakers in Maryland would be discussing a sports betting legalization bill. However, all such previous attempts of bringing sports betting at licensed gambling facilities in the state have failed.
However, with more and more US states legalizing and launching sports gambling operations, it remains to be seen what the lawmakers in Maryland decide for the state.