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Sports Betting On Ballot In Maryland This Fall; Hogan Expects Measure To Pass

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Voters in Maryland will be able to weigh in this fall on whether sports betting should be legal in the state.

Professional leagues have embraced fantasy sports and warmed up to gambling in recent years. Now, voters will be able to decide whether to legalize it.

It's the second of two statewide ballot questions: Question 2 asks Maryland voters to approve sports betting.

The latest poll suggests Marylanders are split on it.

"At least they were back in February, but we also haven't had the time for it to be... publicly framed as a revenue-generating mechanism for education," Dr. Milean Kromer from Goucher College said.

Ads running now are focusing on education, where sports betting revenue would go, to drum up support.

"People are consistent in their approval for increasing funding toward education and they often identify education as the number one issue facing the state," Kromer said.

State Sen. Chris West, a Baltimore County Republican, said there's no reason why sports gambling shouldn't be allowed in the state

The money, he said, will wind up in the same education "lockbox" that slot revenue does now. Maryland is losing that money to neighboring states that have already approved such measures, he added.

"Maryland kind of sticks out like a sore thumb, and the same thing's happening with sports gambling that used to happen to gambling in Maryland, which is the people who want it go to other states," West said.

"I think they ought to try to keep it here. That's why I think it's a good idea, instead of just letting them cross over the state lines, why not keep the money here?" Nick Hanna told WJZ.

"I think it's great for the state," Tyler Boykin said. "I think a lot of proceeds will go back to the system, schools."

Gov. Larry Hogan last week told NBC Sports Washington he thinks the question will pass at a time the state needs it.

"I don't know exactly what it's going to look like after it comes out of the legislative process, but, right now, as states are really lacking revenue, it's another potential source of revenue," he said.

READ MORE: DraftKings Spends Over $200K To Fund Group Urging Maryland Voters To Legalize Sports Betting

DraftKings has spent $250,000 to support the measure; so far, no groups have raised money to oppose the effort.

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