Gov. Martin O’Malley on Tuesday said he would introduce a bill that would allow for expanded gambling in the state. The General Assembly will review the bill as part of a special session expected to convene Friday.
The bill includes provisions allowing for a new casino in Prince George’s County, but also addresses the impact on the existing casinos in the state, including the Maryland Live! casino at Arundel Mills.
Under the legislation, a new casino in Prince George’s County could open by July of 2016, or within 30 months of when the facility in Baltimore City opens. Live table games could also be added to casinos in the state.
Voters would ultimately decide on whether to allow for expanded gambling when they head to the polls in November.
The Cordish Companies, which operates Maryland Live!, have opposed the addition of new casinos in Maryland, arguing that the state should allow existing facilities to get established before introducing new competition.
Here’s what O’Malley’s legislation has to say about the impact on Maryland Live! and Anne Arundel County:
- ·A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which served as a gaming consultant to the state, said a Prince George’s County site would justify allowing Maryland Live! to keep between 6 and 10 percent more of its revenues. O’Malley’s legislation would allow Maryland Live! to keep as much as 5 percent more of its revenues, but the Maryland Lottery, General Assembly, Gaming Control Commission and the Governor must give the OK.
- Maryland Live! would also be able to keep 5 percent more of its proceeds to spend on marketing, promotion and capital improvements.
- The bill includes “hold harmless” provisions designed to ensure that local impact grants in Anne Arundel County are not reduced. Currently 5.5 percent of all casino revenue goes to local impact grants. In Anne Arundel County, that total came to $1.9 million in July.
- If voters approved expanded gambling, Maryland Live! could install live table games as soon as early 2013. Table game revenue would be taxed at 20 percent, with revenue going to the Education Trust Fund.
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