Del Long: “Gaming: Not a Good Solution for Balancing Our Budget”

-The following article was submitted by Sixth District Delegate Bob Long about Internet Gaming that passed by the Maryland General Assembly-

Currently in the Maryland Legislation there is a bill number HB1319 on Internet Gaming. This legislation will allow casino games online. While it would create additional revenue for the state and easier access, it would create job loss for our businesses and can create more addiction problems.

It is estimated that if this law were to go into effect it would create around $500 million in revenue per year. In reality this is just moving funds around and not addressing the growing problems with this industry.

The Maryland General Assembly is trying to pass this legislation because the State needs additional funding to cover the cost of the Blueprint for Education – Kirwan.

Just recently, sports betting was made legal in the State of Maryland and has swept across the nation. Big companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings have made their betting accessible everywhere. For instance, people have been placing bets on outcomes to minor events such as fumbles and yards.

This is creating an environment that is drawing more and more money into gambling, allowing citizens to bet more and more. It will be easier to do this via smartphones, which we hold in our hands almost every day. But, at the cost of creating further addiction issues without any intense studies or solutions.

I don’t want to see people lose their houses because of their gambling addictions. Families would be affected just so the State can balance their budget.

Casinos and other entertainment venues create thousands of jobs for people. If this legislation was to go into effect it could take these jobs away. We already know it will affect jobs.

The State set aside $10 million for job loss due to this bill. I know how devastating it can be to a father supporting a family to be laid off from work.

We do not want this to happen as our small businesses support a lot of people and their families. Our State made a commitment for Casinos and now they are pulling the rug out from under these businesses.

We must consider the facts about welcoming internet gaming in our State. From the positions of additional revenue and accessibility, to the drawback of job losses and an additional risk of gambling addictions. We need to consider the costs of online gaming.

If passed through the Maryland General Assembly, it will be on the ballot for the General Election in November this year. Maryland voters will be given the opportunity to decide.

B.J. Joseph

Benjamin Joesph has covered news in Eastern Baltimore County since 2006. He started as a reporter with the original East County Times in 2006. He started East Baltco News and later in 2022.