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Sports Betting Legal In Maryland Starting June 1

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)  -- Following a historic General Assembly session due to COVID-19, Governor Larry Hogan signed more than 200 bills into law on Tuesday.

One of those bills includes sports betting which will go into effect in less than a month on June 1st. Sports betting will be legal in Maryland at its six casinos, M&T Bank Stadium, Camden Yards and Fed-Ex Field. Wagers can also be placed online.

Pimlico in Baltimore and Laurel Park horse racing venues, along with the state fairgrounds in Timonium would also be able to have licenses.

Officials say there will also be opportunities for applicants to apply for licenses for in-person locations.

"I am particularly proud that we will sign legislation that opens up opportunities in the industry of sports betting to minorities and women," said Speaker Adrienne A. Jones.

More than two-thirds of Marylanders voted for sports betting in November. Lawmakers followed up this past session and overwhelmingly supported the move as well.

Sports betting is already legal in Delaware, West Virginia and Virginia. The industry is expected to rake in up to 19 million dollars, money that officials say goes toward education.

Wagers on college sports, professional teams, fantasy leagues and international sporting events like the Olympics, will be allowed.

In this historic session, COVID-19 was top of mind. During the bill signing event, Senate President Bill Ferguson addressed the progress the state is now making.

"It is funny to be here without masks on. We can feel the after times of the pandemic," said Senator Ferguson.

Lawmakers also had bipartisan support to repeal the state song - an effort some had been pushing for since 1974.

"We are also repealing the state song which is a relic of the Confederacy and it's clearly outdated and out of touch," said Governor Larry Hogan

The Governor also signed the "Jordan McNair Safe & Fair Play Act", which is focused on health and safety measures for student-athletes. McNair, a University of Maryland College Park football player died of a heat stroke following practice in 2018.

This story was originally published on May 18, 2021. 

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