Lawmakers are laying out a plan for sports betting in Maryland
MARYLAND- November 2020 was an important month for Marylanders, as citizens voted to allow for sports betting in the state. Now legislators have the task of figuring out how it will be done. Between extra revenue and foot traffic, they believe the state will greatly benefit from this. State Delegate, Eric Luedtke says, “Better to do it legally through one our licensee then do it off shore because you know that money that you’re playing with is going to support kids right here in Maryland.”
House Bill 940 focuses on in-person betting for casinos and two horse tracks, online sports betting, technicalities and other amendments. Although the bill has a lot of support, the few that don’t support it have a few concerns. Delegate Neil Parrott says, “People have ruined their families, people have ruined their lives, they’ve lost their homes, their cars and that can happen with this bill.”
Delegate, William Wivell, another delegate who is not in support of sports betting states, “It has a lot of societal costs associated with it and I’m not sure the good outweighs the bad of that. It still seems like we’re headed down the wrong path.”
This bill does address prevention programs for those who have gambling problems, as well as free counseling for those who may develop an addiction. Non-supporters do say, they hope they make strict guidelines for sports betting and consider all the variables at play. “Narrow it down to what you’re a loud to bet on, what you’re not in sports, try to protect the players and the integrity of sports as much as possible,” says Del. Parrott.
Although lawmakers say there’s a lot to consider, they know Marylanders are excited to get started, as well as the casinos that are able to hold in-person sports betting in the near future.
Gordon Medenica, Director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming says, “We stand ready to implement whatever the structure is as it makes it’s way through the legislature so we’re looking forward to it.”
Lawmakers say there is still a lot of work that needs to be done before the bill is finalized and passed. They say Marylanders could see in-person sports betting as early as December but ask citizens to be patient.