ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)?The General Assembly?s special session continues in Annapolis as members of the House of Delegates wrestle with the governor?s proposal on expanded gambling.
Political reporter Pat Warren has more on what?s at stake.
Now that the state has legalized gambling, supporters say it?s time to get the most out of it. But opponents are worried about digging a hole.
The state stands to cash in on millions of casino dollars if the House of Delegates plays the hand the governor?s dealing to add table games, reduce the tax rate on casinos and approve a sixth license? to allow a new casino built at National Harbor, which is expected to draw out-of-state visitors.
?You know there?s an old saying ?Don?t tax me. Don?t tax thee. Tax the guy behind the tree.? I think we?ve actually found the guy behind the tree, and he?s in Virginia and will hopefully cross the Woodrow Wilson Bridge,? said Sen. Richard Madaleno, D-Montgomery County.
But some of the same sentiments you hear in TV ads for and against the casino at National Harbor are dividing members of the House of Delegates.
Members of delegations where slots are already licensed have concerns about oversaturating the market and cutting into their share of casino dollars.
?Baltimore, like every jurisdiction, depends on the revenue we get for the city, and my hope is with the expanded gaming we?ll have an opportunity, not only to have more revenue, but also more jobs,? said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Baltimore is one of the delegations that voiced concerns.
The House Ways and Means Committee will vote, and assuming it passes, send the bill to the floor for debate.
Any gambling bill passed will require approval of the voters in November.