BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland does not have legalized sports betting at the state’s casinos, but the debate is on again after West Virginia just approved it.
Delaware also has a sports book, and West Virginia acted quickly to gain a competitive edge over Maryland.
“We had to wait at first for rules to be passed, for laws to be on our side in the state of West Virginia, fortunately, that was done sooner than later,” said Erich Zimny of the Hollywood Casino, West Virginia.
The Supreme Court cleared the way for legalized gambling in a ruling last spring.
“They have it everywhere else, we have gambling here in Maryland, why not add sports betting it will mean more profit for everybody,” said Tom Fox of Essex.
At the Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, not far from the Maryland border, they’re taking their first legal wagers on sports.
“Anything you want, pro, college, Olympics, we’re going to have it here,” Zimny said.
A bill to legalize sports betting in Maryland failed in the last session of state legislature, but it is likely to be reintroduced next year. If it’s okayed by Maryland, voters would have their say in a referendum in 2020.
“I think people are going to gamble regardless, so if you legalize it, fine,” Joann Christopher of Owings Mills said.
“I don’t know, in this town right now the last thing we need is something else to lose our money on,” Tyron Russell Sr. of West Baltimore said.
MGM Harbor, located in Prince George’s County issued a statement that said, “Maryland stands to lose a competitive edge and may find itself playing catch-up,”