Maryland’s Sports Betting Bill Becomes A Law

Maryland’s Sports Betting Bill Becomes A Law

In an interesting turn of events, the Maryland sports betting bill has become law by inaction from Gov. Larry Hogan. The bill was passed by the legislature about two months ago.

Hogan allowed it to happen

Reports suggest that Hogan vetoed a number of bills last week but chose not to take any action on a couple of bills. As the governor neither signed nor vetoed the legislation, the bills officially became laws. SB 4, which proposed legalization of sports betting in the state, was one of the bills. It based both chambers of the legislature in a landslide vote. It passed unanimously from the Senate and received 129-3 votes in the House.

Maryland’s Sports Betting Bill Becomes A Law

However, the bill is only a first step towards the legalization of sports betting. It doesn’t propose a structure or legal framework but only allows the issue to be voted during a referendum in November. If the voters support this bill, the state could be working on a regulatory framework to introduce the market in 2021.

Colorado did something similar

Colorado also passed a sports betting bill via similar means and launched its market on May 1, despite the absence of sporting events in the country. If Marylanders pass the proposal, lawmakers will get to finalize the details of the regulatory framework like taxes, the number of licenses to be given in the state, etc. If this happens, then the state could also follow Colorado’s timeline and have sports betting market-ready by mid-2021.

However, the question in Colorado was quite vague and it added an issue of hiking taxes for water reclamation projects before it mentioned sports betting. The proposal passed with a razor-thin margin. In Maryland, the question will be more straightforward,

“Do you favor the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland to authorize sports and event betting for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education?”

This direct approach will reduce the chances of people saying no because it will be clearer about what they are voting for. In the post-COVID-19 era, when governments are looking for cash, they would need additional sources of revenue to fund their programs. Goucher College polls find that the state is still divided 50-50 on the sports betting question.

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.