Special Session Set For August 9 – Focus on Gaming Expansion

Today, as had widely been expected, Governor O’Malley announced he will call for the General Assembvly to reconvene in Annapolis for a second special session, to focus on legislation to expand gaming venues and offerings in Maryland. Such legislation would require approval by the electorate this fall, and the August deadline was forced by those mechanics.

From coverage in the Daily Record:

Standing between Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Calvert and Prince George’s, and House of Delegates Speaker Michael E. Busch, D-Anne Arundel, O’Malley said legislation would legalize table games, such as poker and blackjack, allow a sixth casino to be constructed in Prince George’s County.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and a slew of other supporters were present, also.

Legalizing table games alone could bring in $100 million in revenue this fiscal year, O’Malley said.

Both measures are subject to voter approval in a November referendum. Busch said if a majority of voters in Prince George’s County do not vote for a sixth casino, that measure would not be approved, regardless of the statewide vote.

Meanwhile, Anne Arundel County and Cecil County will not see a reduction in the amount of money they receive as part of the revenue generated by Hollywood Casino Perryville and Maryland Live at Arundel Mills mall.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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