Sports betting referendum on Nov. 4 Maryland election ballot

The question of a commercial gaming expansion—specifically sports betting—is one of a number of measures on the ballot statewide for the Nov. 4 general election in Maryland.

Both the state Senate and House of Delegates worked on sports betting bills during the 2020 General Assembly session, and the Senate approved its version by a 47-0 vote. The House, however, did not move forward given some differences, and the result was a stripped-down measure that simply put sports betting on the ballot for a statewide referendum. The state’s share of revenue will be earmarked for education.

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association supports the ballot measure, as do other industry organizations that lobbied for sports betting.

The question on the ballot reads: “Do you approve the expansion of commercial gaming in the state of Maryland to authorize sports and events betting for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education?” The choices are “for the referred law” or “against the referred law.”

The earlier bills contained details on the tax rate, which brick-and-mortar facilities would be eligible for licenses, and how many “skins” would be awarded for mobile sports betting. Should the measure pass Nov. 4, the General Assembly will hammer out the details for the enabling legislation during its 2021 session that begins in January.


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