Bill MD HB 605 would make sports betting legal in MD, but is it what residents want?

  • Legal sports betting is a hot topic in Maryland and a new poll has found that residents are split on the issue.
  • If bill MD HB 605 passes and allows sports betting on the ballot in November, it will be up for the voters to decide.
  • The legislative session in Maryland ends on April 6, 2020.

BALTIMORE – A Goucher College poll finds that Marylanders are split on the issue of MD sports betting legalization. The poll that was released on Monday showed an astounding 49% of residents were against legalizing the gambling on sports matchups at retail locations.

More residents were opposed than in favor as those in favor resulted in only 45% but it was still very close to an even split on the topic of legal sports betting.

The Findings

A poll conducted by Goucher College showed that more residents were opposed to land-based sports betting legalization than internet platforms. While brick and mortar locations received more opposing votes, online and mobile applications received more votes in favor of making sports betting legal.

Over 47% of voters were in favor of gambling on sporting match ups online while 43% were opposed to it. Currently, discussions of legalizing the pastime are happening with the state Legislature. The poll was taken by 713 residents of the Free State.

“They are divided now,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center for Goucher. “But my guess is that because public education is important to people, you’d see different numbers if they made that connection.”

If MD HB 605 became legal, the tax revenue that would be generated from the sports betting market would most likely fund the state’s education system.

Future Of Maryland Sports Betting

Bill MD HB 605 would make an amendment to the Constitution that would allow for the expansion of gaming in all of its forms without further hurdles to jump each time an issue such as this came up.

A total of six internet sports betting licenses would be given out should this bill pass into law.

According to the poll, residents in the state would not have a problem with the internet sports betting aspect. And six licenses are minimal when compared to other states.

There are still plenty of hearings that need to take place in order to legalize sports betting in Maryland. MD HB 605 needs to go before the House Ways and Means Committee for its next stop but it has not yet been scheduled on the docket.

Should it pass, voters will be able to see it on the ballot in November 2020. If the tax revenue from the sports betting market ends up going toward the education system and Marylanders know about it, the poll results may be very different from the voting results come November.

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