Teachers’ Salaries The Latest Push For Maryland Online Gambling

  • An online casino referendum in Maryland is on the table as seen with success in expanding sports betting.
  • The Maryland Senate hesitates to advance due to addiction concerns and the impact on jobs and the economy of local casinos.

ANNAPOLIS, Md.Maryland Senator Ron Watson aims to push for an online casino referendum if the Senate doesn't pass legislation this year. This move could shorten the delay from years to months by allowing voters to decide on the possibility of local regulation.

Similar tactics were successful for sports betting in 2020. However, Watson faces challenges in the House-approved Maryland internet gambling bill, HB1319.

Senate leaders are hesitant due to concerns about addiction when online gambling as well as the revenue impact on existing casinos.

Watson argues that delaying the referendum until 2026 will significantly postpone revenue generation, impacting the Blueprint for Maryland's Future Fund. He emphasizes the need for timely implementation to capture projected revenue and urges the Senate to act now.

What Is The Blueprint for Maryland's Future Fund?

The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future is a comprehensive education reform initiative enacted in 2021, focusing on funding increases, equity, teacher quality, college readiness, and governance enhancements to transform Maryland's education system and elevate student opportunities.

It outlines a phased 10-year implementation plan that started with Accountability and Implementation Board meetings in January 2022. Here they made key milestones, which included salary increases for National Board Certified teachers, development of mixed delivery systems for prekindergarten, and adoption of implementation plans by local education agencies by March 2023.

By July 2026, it keeps going, requiring all local education agencies to ensure a minimum teacher salary of $60,000 in Maryland.

How Did Maryland Legalize Sports Betting?

Maryland legalized online sports betting in 2020 through a two-step process. Initially, lawmakers couldn't agree on the specifics of sports betting regulation, so they decided to put the legalization question in front of voters through a referendum.

In November 2020, Maryland voters approved sports betting with strong support, leading lawmakers to return the following year and finalize Maryland online gambling regulations and implementation language for sports betting, thus officially legalizing it in the state.