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Maryland Sports Betting

Editor’s note: As of Jan. 18, 2019

Hopes were high in February 2019 when state delegates Jason Buckel and Kevin Hornberg introduced legislation to legalize sports betting to the Maryland’s General Assembly.

The Old Line State was finally getting into the action that its neighbors - Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia - already were reaping the benefits.

The sports betting bill that had big intentions, but was short on specifics and was dead by mid-March. The culprit? Not the bill’s vagueness. It was a ruling by the state’s Attorney General that sealed its fate.

An open legal question hanging over the proposed law was whether Maryland voters were required to weigh in or could lawmakers be the last word on legalizing expanded gambling.

Attorney General Brian Frosh told lawmakers in March that they weren’t enough - Maryland citizens would have to amend the state Constitution to have legal sports betting.

The question was put to voters in November, 2020 and they approved the question and gave lawmakers a clear directive to get it done.

That pushes legal betting into 2021 at best but now there is some momentum.

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The original bill stated the following:

·         State video lottery terminal operators and horse racing operations would apply for $300,000 sports betting licenses

·         Licenses are for one year with $50,000 annual renewal

·         Application fees would be distributed with 80 percent to education trust fund; 10 percent to 10 percent to local impact grants and 10 percent to problem gambling fund

·         No betting restrictions on sports or teams

·         The State Lottery would operate sports betting getting 20 percent of the gross sports wagering revenue

With 4,500 lottery retailers in the state conducting sports betting, the state’s 15 casinos and off-track betting parlors would be left out in the cold and could ultimately offer strong opposition to the legislation.

Is sports betting currently legal in the state?

No. To implement legal sports betting in the state it will take a public referendum to amend the state Constitution.

What about horse racing?

If you live in the state you are able to use TVG and Twinspires to place your online parimutuel horse racing wagers. 

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Twinspires 922x110   Final Version
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