Adding sports wagering at Maryland casinos a bad bet for now

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Mr. Eadington said sports betting would absolutely attract different gamblers, who then might be interested in playing other games while in the casino. Regardless, he points out that the addition of sports betting would increase revenue for casinos by only about 1 percent to 1.5 percent.

Further, there are many obstacles on the federal front. In 1992, the “Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act” was passed, banning sports wagering in 46 states, including Maryland.

Last year, voters in New Jersey approved sports betting in Atlantic City casinos. The legislation is being challenged in federal court, but state officials still plan to implement the Nevada-style wagers in January.

Along with the federal snags that hinder any potential sports betting expansion in Maryland, having major athletic organizations as an opponent further complicates the issue.

Earlier this year, the Washington Redskins organization came forward in support of Question 7 for Maryland. But according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, the league will not go any further in endorsing the gambling industry.

“We’re very much opposed to the gambling on our games because of the threat to the integrity of our game and the risks that come with it,” he said. “We don’t think our players should be used as bait for gambling.”

Currently, there is no pending legislation in Maryland to expand gambling to sports wagers.

“It’s always possible that somebody could pursue it,” Mr. Norris said. “I just can’t foresee that happening.”

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