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Sports Betting Bill Advances

Rachel Baye

Maryland inched closer to legalizing sports gambling at many locations and on mobile apps Thursday as the Senate gave preliminary approval to a heavily amended version of a bill the House of Delegates approved two weeks ago.

The House version capped the number of sports betting licenses available and limited betting at racetracks and baseball and football stadiums to race days, game days and large special events.

The Senate version would allow for an unlimited number of licenses and daily betting at the sports facilities.

Sen. Craig Zucker, a Montgomery County Democrat and the floor leader on the bill, said the changes would raise more money for education and that members of the Budget and Taxation Committee, which approved the amendments, had another thought in mind as well.

“We wanted to make sure that the bill in front of us has meaningful, meaningful, minority and women owned business participation,” he said.

With the legislative session nearing adjournment at midnight Monday, lawmakers have only a few days left to choose a plan or work out their differences.

Joel McCord is a trumpet player who learned early in life that that’s no way to make a living.