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Poll finds strong support in Maryland for letting voters consider allowing sports betting

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a federal law that bars gambling on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states, giving states the go-ahead to legalize betting on sports.

A poll of Maryland voters found strong support for a referendum on whether to legalize sports betting in the state.

Registered voters polled by Gonzales Research & Media Services supported the referendum, which is expected to be considered in the General Assembly session that starts Wednesday, by 83 percent.

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However, the poll released Tuesday found only 49 percent of voters surveyed support allowing sports betting in Maryland, while 36 percent opposed it.

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House Speaker Michael Busch has suggested legalizing sports betting, as several neighboring states have done, could help Maryland raise money for education, and Gov. Larry Hogan has said he’s open to the idea of such an expansion of gambling.

On other issues, 58 percent of those polled support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Maryland. There was 59 percent support for allowing news cameras in courtrooms when criminal defendants are sentenced.

The poll also found an approval rating for Hogan of 77 percent as he enters his second, four-year term.

Gonzales Research, which is based in Arnold, polled 809 people between Dec. 28 and Friday who said they were regular voters. The poll was conducted by phone, using both landline and cellphone numbers. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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