Sports betting in Maryland approved by voters, could begin as early as 2021

Voters approved the measure by a a margin of about 2-to-1

Sports fans in Maryland voted overwhelmingly on Election Day to legalize sports betting to fuel a new source of revenue for the state.

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The referendum, Question 2, had asked voters to approve sports and events betting at licensed facilities.

Voters favored the measure by a margin of about 2-to-1 with about 75% of the vote counted as of early Wednesday.

COMMON SPORTS BETTING TERMS EXPLAINED

The ballot measure amended the state constitution to allow lawmakers to begin crafting a bill that will determine how sports gambling will be implemented.

Sports fans in Maryland voted overwhelmingly on Election Day to legalize sports betting to fuel a new source of revenue for the state. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

It's not yet clear how much revenue sports betting in Maryland would bring in, but proponents of the bill had stressed its impact on education.

A nonpartisan analysis estimated Maryland could bring in $18.2 million per year from a combination of in-person and mobile betting on sports.

The state will tax the industry 20%, with 19% going to education and 1% going to the minority business enterprise program, according to FOX5.

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Republican Gov. Larry Hogan had expressed support for the bill and was optimistic it would pass based on a broad range of political support.

Hogan now will work with the Democrat-controlled General Assembly starting next year when the state's 90-day legislative session kicks off on Jan. 13, 2021, according to the Baltimore Sun.

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Betting companies DraftKings and FanDuel, which is owned by holding company Flutter Entertainment, were keen on the measure passing, reportedly pumping millions into a campaign in support of the measure.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DKNGDRAFTKINGS52.36-0.39-0.74%
PDYPYFLUTTER ENTERTAINMENT92.685-0.01-0.02%

Legalizing sports betting now puts Maryland on equal footing with neighboring states.

Washington, D.C., has already begun legalized betting, and Virginia approved it earlier in the year.

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