Sports betting in Maryland was a hot topic in 2018, but Election Day came and went without a referendum, however, a poll performed by the Washington Post-University of Maryland shows it would have likely passed.
The poll, conducted between October 4-7, 2018, reveals that 53 percent of registered voters favor legalized sports betting, leaving only 37 percent in opposition, which means if a referendum were held on Election Day, MD sportsbooks could have been established at some point in 2019.
The state has established several MD casinos, including Hollywood Casino Perryville, MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino & Hotel, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore and Rocky Gap Casino Resort. Considering Hollywood Casino is set to have a PA sportsbook, and MGM Resorts is among many with NJ sportsbooks, you can look for those establishments to get in on MD sportsbooks.
In the poll, 10 percent of voters who did not give an opinion on the issue. On the opposite end of the spectrum, those with a strong opinion were nearly split, as 26 percent strongly disapproved of legalized sports betting, while 24 percent strongly approved.
The poll found a strong divide based on age and gender. Male voters came in favor of sports betting at 62 percent, while women were at 46 percent. There was an even more drastic split with voters under 40 and those 65 and over. Nearly 7-out-of-10 of the 40 or younger crowd were supportive of sports betting, while fewer than 4-out-of-10 from the 65 and older crowd showed support. The poll reached out to 814 Maryland registered voters through mobile and landline phones.
If this poll is any indication, it is only a matter of time before the state makes sports betting legal and establishes MD sportsbooks. For that to happen however, the state General Assembly would need to add a referendum to the ballot in time before the next Election Day in 2020. This year, a bill asking for a voter referendum on sports wagering passed the House, but not the Senate. Despite the shortcoming, Maryland is certainly headed in the right direction and maybe on the cusp of legalized sports betting.