Some 66.2% of the residents of Maryland voted for the legalization of sports betting in the state earlier this week. Now the government officials are facing the task to establish a regulatory framework for the new activity.
Maryland Residents Approve Sports Betting Expansion with 66.2% of Votes
Earlier this week, voters in Maryland residents approved the referendum allowing sports betting at certain licensed facilities. Some 66.2% of the voters approved the gambling extension in The Old Line State. With that in mind, the approval of the referendum is only the first step towards legal sports betting in the state. This is because state lawmakers did not have enough time to establish a complete sport betting bill at the General Assembly session back in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is likely that Maryland lawmakers will not wait long before establishing the legal framework for sports betting, considering the economic impact brought by the pandemic. Furthermore, even before the referendum approval, back in October, Governor Larry Hogan expressed his support for the sports betting legalization. Back then, the Governor outlined that sports betting will provide a “critical revenue source for public education without raising taxes on families and businesses”. Besides, the state’s coffers will also receive a financial boost from the fresh tax revenue.
Sports Betting Regulatory Framework Is Needed
To enable legalized sports betting in the state, the Maryland lawmakers may face a challenge. One of the most important questions that need to be answered is how much would the operators pay for licensing? Furthermore, it is yet to be established what the duration of the license would be and how would be the taxation of the sports betting revenue.
Fans of sports betting would also be interested to know if sports betting would be allowed at casinos or horse racetracks. Moreover, lawmakers are yet to establish if mobile sports betting would be allowed and if colleague sports would be a part of sports betting in Maryland.
Keeping in mind the outstanding regulatory framework, in an interview for the Associated Press, Senator Craig Zucker shared his point of view. Being one of the supporters of the sports betting expansion in Maryland, he said that “the biggest obstacle” was already passed with a “resounding yes” for the sports betting expansion. Furthermore, the Governor stressed that sports betting will bring additional revenue, which will help “closing the budget gap around education“.