Gambling Groups Spend $2M To Persuade Maryland Voters To Approve Sports Betting

This Autumn, Maryland voters will determine whether or not to allow state sports betting, gaming firms invest big bucks to try and convince people to choose yes on the ballot. FanDuel and DraftKings are two businesses that, if the option is accepted, will provide services in the state. Both supported a group called Vote Yes on Question 2 and spent over $2 million to promote sports betting in a positive way.

Finance reports were filed on Friday, showing that around $486,000 remains unused of the $2.75 million put into the Vote Yes on Question 2 group’s account. The majority of the funds were spent on ads. Along with internet , radio, and TV advertising, direct mail campaigns were made.

The banking account was established back in July for the party. DraftKings offered $250,000 in funding at the time. Last month, the campaign then went public. DraftKings decided in August and September to add another $1 million to the account. FanDuel also contributed, with $1.5 million in funds added.

Casinos have also supported the cause in the state as well as the Maryland Jockey Club, but they have put their efforts behind a group called Fund Our Future. On-site, as well as via mailings and social media, the casinos and the club have provided free advertisements. The Maryland Jockey Club, the Hollywood Casino Perryville, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, and the Maryland Live! provided a total of $32,300 to Fund Our Future!

Very little has been spent out of that number. Casinos and other firms have made what are known as ‘in-kind’ donations instead of using the funds. At no cost to them, they give work on behalf of the company.

An example of this can be found at the Jockey Club in Maryland. On the way to the cause, the Club donated graphic design as well as in-house ads and signage. Website advertisements and social media posts were also given at no cost to them. The casinos also provided similar contributions, all of which together were valued at over $33,000.

At present, Maryland is surrounded by states which have legalised sports betting. Lawmakers in the state voted this fall to allow a broad question about the practise on the ballot, asking whether they agree with the choice being legalised. If voters say yes, then the specifics, such as who will be eligible for licences to provide services, would need to be decided by legislators.