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Maryland Expanded Gambling Debate Down to the Wire

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It's the final push in the fight over expanded gambling in Maryland. News4 Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reports. (Published Monday, Nov 5, 2012)

    People on both sides of the Maryland expanded gambling issue are making their final arguments to voters.

    MGM CEO Jim Murren spent almost $30 million fighting for gaming expansion in Maryland and an opportunity to open a casino in Prince George’s County.
     
    “They made a mistake, the alienated one of the casinos by not cutting them in on the gravy train

    Penn National Gaming, the major opponent in the fight to expand gaming in Maryland, owns several casinos, including Charlestown, W.Va.  It has spent $41 million battling Question 7 by focusing on whether money from an expansion will benefit education.”
     
    “Not one bent dime of new spending has gone to education because of gambling,” Comptroller Peter Franchot said.
     
    He has come out in recent weeks against a gaming expansion, saying Marylanders should be concerned about the amount of money both sides have been able to spend on this campaign alone.
     
    “We’ll no longer be able to pretend that we the people run Annapolis,” Franchot said. “It’s the gambling companies that are going to run it because they have the money.”

    “It’s hard to agree with anything he says on this topic, to be honest,” Murren said.
     
    Murren said Maryland is already into gaming, so it may as well be more competitive.
     
    “In 2008 you passed a gaming law,” he said. “The problem is it wasn’t the right law.”

    Table games and a sixth casino in Maryland is not the answer for growing the state’s or Prince George’s County’s economy, Franchot said.

    “There is plenty of money in Prince George’s County,” he said. “It just needs to be spent properly. It needs to be spent efficiently. It needs to be spent without waste.”
     
    If Question 7 does fail, there’s no future for MGM in Prince George’s County, Murren said.