Special Session Gaming Bill Details Released

The Gazette covers various details of the Administration’s gaming bill, the center piece of the upcoming special session of the General Assembly. From their coverage:

Key provisions include:

– Table games, such as blackjack and roulette, at existing casinos, to be taxed at a rate of 20 percent.

– Allowing a sixth casino license, to be located in Prince George’s County, with 3,000 slot machines. Both Rosecroft Raceway and the waterfront National Harbor development will be possible locations. The casino would not be allowed to open until July 1, 2016, or 30 months after a Baltimore casino opens, whichever comes first.

– Authorizing a Prince George’s site would be conditional upon a majority of county voters approving the plan when it goes to referendum in November.

– Modifications to the state tax structure so casinos in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County will keep an additional 5 percent of slots proceeds to cover marketing and/or capital improvements to their facilities. Operators of the state’s existing casinos currently keep 33 percent of slots proceeds

– The struggling Casino at Ocean Downs will be allowed to keep 43 percent of their proceeds beginning in July 2013.

– Except at Ocean Downs and the planned casino at the Rocky Gap resort in Allegany County, the ownership of slot machines will transfer from the state to the casino operators. As compensation for the additional costs, operators will keep an additional 6 percent of their proceeds. Currently, cost to the state of purchasing or leasing the machine is equal to about 13 percent of slots revenues.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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