Sports betting, it has been the topic of conversation among states since 2018. In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting. This meant that all 50 states were now allowed to pass their own laws to allow and regulate sports betting. In the last two years, we have seen 23 states pass laws and 9 who may pass laws in 4 days that allow sports betting.
The big question that people wanted answered is why. Why should sports betting be legal? The big answer is the revenue that will be generated. Despite the uncertainty with the coronavirus this year, New Jersey broke the record for the most money bet on sports in a single month. The record was $614 million in November of 2019 in Nevada. New Jersey saw $668 million in August. In fact, New Jersey had so much success that is happened again in September when they took in $748 million. Those are just two months out of the entire year. Clearly there is a lot of money to be made here in Maryland between the Orioles, Ravens, Preakness, Baltimore Blast, and minor league and collegiate athletics. So why would people in Maryland not want to see this bill pass?
According to the Baltimore Sun, one voter explained that we have not seen the benefit from casino gambling that was promised for Maryland schools. They continue to say that instead of generating new revenue for the government to “waste”, we would be better off with a tax increase. Some voters believe that passing this law will create more gambling addiction and other social issues for the state. While I can understand the first concern, I respectfully disagree. The point of ensuring money is not wasted by state and local officials is to vote the ones who waste money out and those who do not into office. Accountability is the root of that problem, not sports betting. As to the second concern, I do believe that those with any gambling addiction should seek assistance and use the resources around them to overcome that struggle. Why allow gambling at all though at that point? Sports betting will not be something that pushes the state over the edge socially and create a massive public issue. It will keep those that want to spend their money on sporting events in the state.
Support for the bill was split earlier this year, but even Governor Hogan believes that the measure will pass as the state needs another source of revenue during this difficult financial time. Thankfully, it does seem as though the measure will pass as there are no publicly funded groups or advertisements against Question 2, while Draft Kings has lobbied and spent $250,000 in favor of Question 2.
Remember to go out and vote and fill out your entire ballot this year, but do remember to vote YES on Question 2!
Featured Image Via: Caesars Sports Book
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