ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland lawmakers are exploring a quick way to approve sports betting this year, but it’s unclear if they will be able to do it without voter approval in 2020.
Voters endorsed a constitutional amendment allowing casinos in 2008, but any further commercial gambling expansion requires another voter referendum.
And lawmakers failed to pass legislation to put sports betting on last November’s ballot.
As neighboring states have added sports betting to lure gamblers, some Maryland lawmakers don’t want to wait until the next election in 2020. Some are looking at a potential loophole: Regulate sports betting through the state lottery instead of private entities.
A spokeswoman for House Speaker Michael Busch says he’s looking at all options. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller says he’s amenable to move forward this year.