Gambling set to expand in Maryland
By: George Sousouris
Annapolis, Maryland: The Maryland Legislature has taken the state one step closer to allowing Las Vegas-style casinos to set up shop in Prince George's County. A 28-14 vote in the Senate on the gambling expansion bill will now send it to the House, where it may face more opposition. If the bill does become law, voters must still approve it in a referendum this November.
Maryland already has five slots casinos, and this bill would legalize table games at those casinos, as well as establish a sixth casino site in Prince George's County, on the Potomac River not far from the nation's capitol. This has proved to be controversial in the House, as several Democratic members have raised questions about saturating the state's gambling market by expanding too quickly.
Governor Martin O'Malley largely dismissed the concerns of the opposition, and stated, "This is not so much about what we want; it’s about what we need to get behind us,” he said. “We can create jobs, we can maximize the dollars that come from this."
A poll in 1998 found that just 39% of Marylanders supported allowing slot machines at racetracks, but by 2008, a similar ballot measure passed with 58% of the vote.