SHOULD SPORTS BETTING BE LEGAL?General News
A question posed to Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan. The Maryland state is faced with the major issue of legalizing sports betting with much debate around Question 2 – a betting referendum that would allow sports gambling for the primary purpose of funding education. The state is also faced with the issue of losing state revenue with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and growing the gambling industry might supplement its lost incomes.
According to Gov. Hogan, "This initiative builds on the very successful ‘Hogan Lockbox,’ which puts casino revenues in a lockbox dedicated to education. We are already funding our K-12 schools at record levels, and this is another way to ensure that is the case for years to come."
However, this will be determined in the upcoming election on November 3, through a broad-based ballot question. These are the questions that Maryland residents will be voting on:
Question 1 (Constitutional Amendment):
- "The proposed amendment authorizes the General Assembly, in enacting a balanced budget bill for the fiscal year 2024 and each fiscal year thereafter, to increase, diminish, or add items, provided that the General Assembly may not exceed the total proposed budget as submitted by the Governor."
- (Amending Article II Section 17 and Article III Sections 14 and 52 of the Maryland Constitution)
Question 2 (Commercial Gaming Expansion Referendum):
- "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?"
- (Ch. 492 of the 2020 Legislative Session) Expansion of Commercial Gaming – Sports and Event Wagering
According to Gaming Today, “A ‘Yes’ vote would support authorizing sports and events wagering at certain licensed facilities with state revenue intended to fund public education. A ‘No’ vote would oppose authorizing sports and events wagering at certain licensed facilities.”
Those who are advocating for the bill believe that illegal sports betting is already big business in Maryland. Furthermore, some of the residents of Maryland place their bets legally in Washington D.C. or offshore, illegally, which leads to the state losing out on much-needed revenue.
“Authorization of sports betting in Maryland will create tens of millions of dollars in new gaming tax revenue to the state, money that has been constitutionally earmarked to enhance education funding. Sports betting has been legalized in half the states in the country and has become an expected amenity to casino gaming facilities,” said Managing Partner & CEO Cordish Gaming Group, Joe Walden about the bill.
It’s also believed that about $20 – $40 Million (between R324,3 Million and R645,7 Million in South Africa) could be directed towards public schools if the bill is passed.
However, “will the money actually be put towards education?” remains the question on some of the residents’ minds. Based on the casino referendum, which was passed in 2008 with the intention to fund schools but ended up being redirected to other areas.
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