MD Special Session on Gambling Expansion Opens Today

Aug 9, 2012

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers and casino owners are reviewing Gov. Martin O'Malley's 55-page measure to expand gambling on the eve of a special session.

O'Malley, for his part, said Wednesday the bill will increase state revenue and jobs. He also says he's "so sick of this issue" and wants to settle it. The Senate wil convene the special session Thursday.

The gambling proposals would allow table games like blackjack and a new casino site in Prince George's County that could open in 2016.

Joseph Weinberg, managing partner for the Cordish Cos., which owns Maryland's largest casino, is describing the measure as "patently unfair." He says that's because developers of five casino sites currently allowed invested in their facilities without knowledge another large casino would be allowed nearby.

A Senate Budget and Taxation hearing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Voters would have to approve any gambling expansion in the state.