Md. House votes to allow casino in Prince George's County, table games
By Associated Press
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The Maryland General Assembly has passed a measure that would allow a casino to be built in Prince George's County, just miles from the nation's capital.
The state Senate early Wednesday approved the measure after changes were made late Tuesday by the House of Delegates. The legislation now goes to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who called the special session on gambling to raise revenue and create jobs.
Some favor locating the new casino at National Harbor, a major development down the Potomac River from Washington. Voters several years ago approved five casino sites, and a major new casino recently opened in Anne Arundel County.
The measure would also allow casinos to be open 24 hours and permit tables games such as poker and roulette. The bill reduces the state's high tax on slots at two casino sites to offset the financial impact of the future Prince George's County casino.
Voters would have to approve the gambling expansion in November.
By BRIAN WITTE Associated Press
Statement from Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III Passage of Governor O'Malley's Gaming Bill by the Maryland General Assembly
"This morning, the Maryland General Assembly empowered the voters of Maryland and, specifically, Prince George's County, to weigh in on a major economic development opportunity for the State and the County. I want to thank the Maryland General Assembly Members, Speaker Busch and Senate President Miller for appropriately handling a very difficult and complex issue. I applaud the leadership of Governor Martin O'Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and congratulate them on drafting a good bill that was workable and allowed the Members of the General Assembly to amend and approve this referendum.
The passage of this bill enables the voters of the State and County to have the final say on this important issue. It is important because the expansion of gaming into Prince George's County is about the thousands of new jobs, millions of dollars in revenue to the state and County, and growing the travel and tourism industry in Prince George's County. I believe this expansion will be good for the County and good for the State.
I am confident that the people of Prince George's County and the State of Maryland will make the right decision."