Sponsors and advocates of Maryland sports betting bill have filed the bill ahead of the 2020 Legislative session starts. Lawmakers took to the bill to the state capital of Annapolis on Friday, December 26th, way ahead of the deadline. The bill must pass the legislator before it can be placed on the November 2020 ballot. The Maryland bill known as ‘Senate Bill 58’ was written by state Senator Chris West. The senator is a Republican that represents Central and Northern Baltimore County.
The bill would allow several horse tracks and casinos to offer legalized sports betting. According to the wording on the bill, a portion of the sports betting profits would be allocated to the Maryland Department of Education. Part of the bill reads as follows, “Be it further enacted 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.”
If The Bill Passes Legalized Betting In Maryland Would Start On November 30, 2020
The bill would have to pass by a majority of voters in the November election, and if it gets the majority of votes, sports betting will commence on November 30th, 2020. These types of the bill at times states how much of a percent the bill has to pass by. In the case of Maryland, it just has to have more voters that want it passed than not. Maryland currently has six casinos, three of them bring in most of the gaming revenue for the state. the three are, MGM National Harbor, Maryland Live, and Horseshoe Baltimore. There are three much smaller casinos in Maryland that also have slot tables. They are, Rocky Gap Resort, Perry Ville and Ocean Downs.
Senator Chris West & Other Sports Betting Supporters Are Getting Frustrated
Senator Chris West and others who wholeheartedly support sports betting are frustrated with the pace of the bill getting passed. West and others say it’s been a year and a half since the Supreme Court overruled a national ban on sports betting. West says, he had been working on the bill before the Supreme Court decision, when he was Maryland delegate with his eye on a senate seat. The Supreme Court ruling said the national ban was unconstitutional. Since the 2018 ruling, 19 states have sports betting running or will in 2020.
D.C. has also joined the sports betting bandwagon. One of the biggest arguments being made in Maryland is that most of their neighbors have legalized sports betting, including, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey. West and others are saying that Maryland residents have a lot of choices for ports betting, at just a very short distance away. West says, ‘as feet are being dragged we’re losing valuable profits for education.’
KnupSports will follow this closely as the State of Maryland attempts to get the sports betting bill ready to roll as the National Football League begins their 2020 season.