Deliberations on Expanded Gambling Continue
It still remains unclear whether there will be a special legislative session on the issue.
It's been a little more than a month since the Maryland Live! casino opened at Arundel Mills, but lawmakers are still talking about the gambling issue.
The big question is whether the state will allow for a new casino in Prince George's County (near National Harbor) while also permitting live table games at existing casinos.
Gov. Martin O'Malley this week met with Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Chesapeake Beach) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Annapolis) about the possibility of a special session, the Washington Post reported.
Officials from the Cordish Co., which owns Maryland Live!, have opposed expanded gambling for now, arguing that they would like to see their own facility get established first.
"We think table games would be a great enhancement for the facilities in Maryland, but it should not be linked with whether or not you add another facility," Cordish Co. managing partner Joe Wienberg told Patch last month. "What one has to do with the other, I don’t know.”
There's a lot of things being thrown around, but of the sticking points among legislators is whether a special gaming commission should set gambling tax rates instead of the legislature.
A work group that explored the issue last month came back without a plan.
But that wasn't the end of the discussion. Lawmakers are continuing to talk, and the Post reported that O'Malley believes there is a 50-50 chance of the special session taking place.
Meanwhile, the Baltimore Sun reported that some people who once opposed the Maryland Live! casino are now working to ensure it is successful. The newspaper quotes David Jones, the former head of the "No Slots at the Mall" campaign, as a man pushing to make sure the community gets its cut of casino revenue.
Do you think Maryland will have a special session one expanded gambling? Do you support the addition of another casino in the state?