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Do the Baltimore Ravens want a piece of sports betting? It’s hard to say.

Could the Ravens offer sports betting at M&T Bank Stadium in downtown Baltimore? Team officials won't say if they want to be included in legislation that would legalize sports betting in Maryland.
Could the Ravens offer sports betting at M&T Bank Stadium in downtown Baltimore? Team officials won't say if they want to be included in legislation that would legalize sports betting in Maryland. (US Presswire)

As Maryland lawmakers consider whether to legalize betting on sports, it’s not clear whether the Baltimore Ravens are interested in offering it at their stadium.

A bill advancing through the Senate would offer sports betting licenses to the state’s six casinos; thoroughbred race tracks at Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park and the Maryland State Fair, and at the Washington Redskins stadium, if it is significantly redeveloped or replaced in Maryland. The license holders could offer in-person sports betting, as well as on affiliated smartphone apps, known as “skins” in the betting business.

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Sports betting could generate about $20 million annually for the state, and almost all of that money would be earmarked for public schools. If the bill passes, voters would decide in this fall’s general election whether to authorize betting.

Sen. Craig Zucker, a Montgomery County Democrat sponsoring the legislation, said this week that the Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore Orioles did not ask to have their downtown stadiums included in the bill.

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But Sen. J.B. Jennings said Friday on the floor of the Senate that the Ravens are, in fact, interested in sports betting. He said he had asked Ravens officials about the matter.

“They’re trying to work it over in the House [of Delegates],” said Jennings, the Republican minority leader in the Senate.

The Ravens didn’t provide clarity as to which senator was correct.

Chad Steele, a spokesman for the team, would only offer the following statement: “We are following the legislation and are aware of the recent developments.” Steele declined to answer any follow-up questions.

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, meanwhile, lobbied to have his team’s stadium in Prince George’s County included in the bill. He hasn’t commented publicly, but met privately with lawmakers to make his case.

The Senate advanced the sports betting bill Friday so that it could get a final vote early next week. The sports betting bill in the House is pending.

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