On Election Day Nov. 3, Maryland voters passed a referendum to allow sports wagering in the state, with well more than half of voters approving the measure, according to early returns.

Voters had the option to vote yes or no on Question 2, which asked whether sports betting should be allowed in the state but didn’t offer any details as to what sports betting in the state would look like. Tax money raised through sports betting will be directed mostly toward education, as is already the case with slots in Maryland.

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Maryland state senate and House of Delegates were on the verge of completing an exhaustive sports betting referendum that would be sent to voters, according to gambling.com, but some members of the House of Delegates ultimately expressed concern about the proposal. Instead, voters got a yes-or-no referendum on the topic of sports betting, and it’ll now be up to the state legislature to flesh out the details.

If discussions between the state senate and House of Delegates pick up where they left off before the pandemic hit, sports wagering in Maryland will likely take after models in Nevada and New Jersey, where sports books are allowed at the casinos and racetracks. People within state lines can gamble from their computers and mobile devices as well.

The House of Delegates bill earlier this year allowed for sports books in the state’s six casinos, Maryland Jockey Club tracks and the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. The Washington Football Team is also seeking a sports gambling license for its home stadium in Maryland.

Prior to Election Day, 18 states and D.C. already had sports wagering. The closest sports books for Baltimore-area sports fans are currently in Capital One Arena in D.C. and at Delaware Park near Wilmington. The timetable for legislation and when people will be able to wager on sports in Maryland is unclear.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Delaware Park

Luke Jackson

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