Maryland Card Gambling Amendment (2010)

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The Maryland Card Gambling Amendment did not appear on the November 2, 2010 ballot in the state of Maryland. According to reports, the measure would have authorized gambling on card games at up to six locations in the state. The proposed constitutional amendment was introduced by Senator Allan Kittleman, who is the Senate Minority Leader.[1]

If the measure had been enacted by a majority of Maryland voters, a state commission would have selected the locations of the five card sites. One card site was already selected under the proposal, which was Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George's County.

Support

Arguments

According to real estate developer, Mark Vogel, who was purchasing Rosecroft at the time, "All we are asking everyone to do is to allow the card facility to be voted on by the citizens of Maryland." Vogel also later stated that if the measure is passed to the ballot and approved by voters, approximately 1,500 jobs could be created and about $250 million in gambling revenue could be collected in the first year. This was based on a study that was commissioned by the real estate developer.[2]

Legislature

Opposition

  • According to Delegate Doyle Neimann, he was against the measure because of the timing. Neimann stated, "It's way too early to be expanding gambling when we haven't even worked out slots."
  • Prince George's County Councilmember Marilynn M. Bland stated that she was against the measure, as well as Coucilman Eric C. Olson, who didn't agree with letting the state decide on the issue. According to Olson: "We're just at the whim of the state. That's a little troubling."[3]
  • Residents in Prince George's County seemed to be against the measure, according to reports, as both civic and religious leaders voiced their opinion on the issue:[4]
William Cavitt, vice president of the civic group, Indian Head Highway Area Action Council, stated "We're opposed to it. [Legislative members] seem to have expectations that money will fall out of the sky...It's not a way to make money."
Rev. Grainger Browning Jr., pastor of Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington stated that gambling ruined the quality of life.
June White Dillard, president of the Prince George's chapter of the NAACP, stated, "Gambling preys on the lowest-income people," Dillard said. "They play the slots, they buy the lottery tickets and they are least able to afford it...Making it tables doesn't make any difference."

Studies

A study done by the Innovation Group, a firm based in Orlando, Florida, showed the following results when studying the effects of the measure if it had been enacted by Maryland voters:[4]

  • Create 1,250 to 1,500 jobs to Rosecroft.
  • Rake in $300 million in revenue.
  • $145 million would come from out of state.

The study was commissioned by Mark Vogel Companies. Mark Vogel was a developer who hoped to purchase Rosecroft. However, on the other side of the issue, according to Delegate Dereck E. Davis, "I know Vogel is working it hard, and I know we want to do something to keep it open. But I just don't see [the referendum] happening...But of course, anything can happen."

Path to the ballot

The Maryland State Senate approved the measure on March 24, 2010 with a vote of 34-13, thus sending the proposal to the Maryland House of Representatives. However, the measure was not passed, as the Maryland Legislature concluded without any action on the bill. Placing a proposed amendment on the ballot must be approved by a 60% vote of each chamber of the Maryland State Legislature.[2][5]

See also

External links

References