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Maryland Spending $2M to Push through Legal Sports Betting

Maryland voters will be voting on a sports betting referendum in November, and proponents of sports betting are spending a ton of money to persuade voters. DraftKings and FanDuel are teaming up in an effort to get sports betting passed in November. 

The company initially had a budget of close to $2.75 million to spend leading up to the November vote and only $486,000 remains. DraftKings and FanDuel will continue to ramp up their efforts in the weeks leading up to the election.

They have created a group titled, “Vote Yes on Question 2,” and most of the money has been spent on TV and radio campaign ads. Brochures and yard signs have also been distributed throughout the state, as these two companies set to benefit from the passing of the referendum.

Another group called “Fund our Future” also supports the sports betting referendum, but this group has not spent a ton of money campaigning. Instead, the companies that have helped fund the group have been offering in-kind contributions.

The Maryland Jockey Club and the casinos throughout the state of Maryland have been offering the “Fund our Future” group free on-site advertising over the last few months. Casinos favor legalized sports betting as they would likely be given the chance to receive a sports betting license.

The Maryland Jockey Club hosts the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore each year, and it was clear what side of this referendum that group was on. On October 2, a number of different forms of advertisements were used during the 145th running of the Preakness Stakes. 

Most industry experts believe that Maryland will launch sports betting at some point in early 2021, but this is an important vote in November. Lawmakers are hopeful that the residents will give them the ability to work on rules and regulations next year. 

Lawmakers Still Have Work to Do

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic delayed legalizing sports betting in Maryland earlier this year, but there wasn’t overwhelming support of the bill. Most lawmakers agreed that sports betting would be beneficial to the state, but they weren’t sure how to implement the injury. 

Lawmakers decided to place a very broad and general question on the ballots this November as they want to let the residents of the state make the ultimate decision. The referendum does not mention any specifics about what the industry might look like.

If the referendum does pass this fall, lawmakers will have to get back to the drawing board in 2021 to develop rules and regulations for the industry. Some of the basics were discussed earlier this year, but that is where some of the debate came in.

The state will also have to decide how many sports betting licenses will be available to operators, and where that tax revenue will go. It is believed that most of the sports betting revenue will go to help fund education.

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