Maryland overwhelmingly approves legalized sports betting

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Maryland voters approved legalized sports betting by a 2-to-1 margin on Tuesday, with the Old Line State seeking to open a new source of revenue.

The referendum, billed as Question 2, could produce more than $18 million per year from live and mobile betting on sports, with Maryland taxing the industry at 20 percent. Of that tax revenue, 19 percent would be allocated to education and 1 percent to the minority business enterprise program.

“Question 2 provides a critical revenue source for public education without raising taxes on families and businesses,” Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said early Wednesday. “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.”

Maryland law already allows gambling at casinos and horse tracks in the state, with Question 2 clearing the way for wagering on sports. The measure received almost unanimous support in both the Maryland State House and Senate, and then got the blessing of approximately 66 percent of voters on Election Day.

Neighboring Washington, D.C., and Virginia approved have already approved legalized sports betting.

Overall, 18 states plus D.C. have legalized sports betting systems already running: Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

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