A Leaner Sports Betting Bill Moves Through Maryland Legislature

A Leaner Sports Betting Bill Moves Through Maryland Legislature

A leaner, diluted version of the Maryland bill that will allow state’s voters to decide the fate of legalized sports gambling in the state is moving through the General Assembly. The abbreviated session of the legislature will consider the bill in the final hours.

Is the bill vague?

The bill by Baltimore Del. Nick Mosby does not list the companies that could apply for a sports betting license in the state. It only allows the question of legal sports betting to be added to the November elections. If the citizens approve the offer, the lawmakers will decide which companies should be allowed to operate in this space.

A Leaner Sports Betting Bill Moves Through Maryland Legislature

The decision will be based on a ‘disparity study.’ This study will investigate if women or racial minorities could face a disadvantage by participating in the legalized betting industry. If the study finds this to be true, the state could provide preference to underrepresented groups in the licensing process.

A question of representation

According to Mosby, the bill that is moving in the legislature will allow sports betting licenses to be managed by rich, white men only. The licenses created by the bill would largely go to casinos in the state alongside the thoroughbred race tracks. Other contenders for the licenses included the Prince George’s County based Washington Redskins football stadium and the Ravens team. However, the team officials have not commented on the matter yet.

Note that the state has conducted disparity studies before as well. When it first legalized cannabis, a majority of licenses were offered to nonminority companies. However, it was later confirmed that minorities faced a disadvantage in license applications. The state then distributed licenses for the second time, preferring minority-owned businesses.

The licensees will be allowed to offer online or app-based services along with in-person betting opportunities to users. Mosby spoke further on the question of representation and said,

“It just compounded the concentration of wealth by limiting competition. They were literally going to give licenses to individuals who are already seated around the table.”

The state lawmakers had plenty of bills to consider before a coronavirus-related measure would adjourn the session prematurely on Wednesday. The House of Delegates voted on the bill late Tuesday and voted 129-3 in favor without debate. The bill is now pending at the Senate which will have to agree to the changes to pass through the legislature successfully.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.