ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Marylanders voted in favor of legalizing sports betting in the state.
Question 2 on the 2020 election ballot in Maryland asked residents if they think sports betting should be legal, allowing for revenue to be generated for education.
As of Wednesday morning, 1,319,439 Marylanders voted in favor of sports betting while 671,988 voted against it (66.3% to 33.7%).
The Associated Press called the race Tuesday night in favor of Question 2 with 52% of the precincts reporting.
— Rick Ritter (@RickRitterWJZ) November 4, 2020
At Horseshoe Casino Tuesday night, most people WJZ spoke to said they were in favor of sports betting.
“They got gambling, they got the lottery,” Charles Williams said. “[The money] is going out of state. We might as well keep it here.”
Surrounding states have legalized sports betting. Maryland State Senator Craig Zucker said he wants to see the money being spent stay in the region.
“It’s important to keep them in Maryland and to make sure the revenue goes toward our education system here,” Zucker said.
Zucker said with budgets being slashed due to the current pandemic, this is a way for schools to make much-needed money.
“We estimate that it will bring in anywhere between $20-$40 million of revenue a year for education,” he said.
President of the State Education Association, Cheryl Bost, said this is just step one.
“The details will be in the legislation as to who gets those licenses, how many and what’s the tax rate on them so they can actually put money into education,” said Bost, who is encouraging her members to vote ‘yes.’
Bost added this funding alone will not be enough for the education system.
“We still need a steady stream of funding into education,” she said. “This can only be one part of a larger picture of what is needed.”
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Voter Luisa Wayman said some Marylanders don’t trust the money will be handled properly.
“It contains no specific provisions as to how much the money gained from sports betting can go to schools,’ Wayman said.