The Maryland Senate approved a measure allowing table games like blackjack and a new casino near the nation's capital and voted to change a state law so that it creates a strict liability standard for owners of all dogs, not just pit bulls.
The Senate voted for expanded gambling Friday -- the second day of a special session called by Gov. Martin O'Malley in hopes of resolving a difficult issue in the state.
Swift passage was expected in the Senate, which passed a bill earlier this year to expand gambling.
The measure stalled in the House of Delegates, the tougher chamber for gambling legislation. A House committee held a hearing on the governor's measure Friday.
The gambling measure would allow a casino in Prince George's County. A key part of the bill cuts Maryland's 67 percent tax rate on casinos to varying degrees.
The pit bull bill was in response to a court ruling that determined pit bulls are “inherently dangerous” animals. That April decision by Maryland's highest court created a breed-specific, strict-liability standard for owners of pit bulls or pit bull breeds. Under the ruling, a pit bull owner could be liable for a dog bite without previous evidence of the dog being dangerous.
The passed bill also reverses a part of the ruling by the Maryland Court of Appeals that made landlords strictly liable for pit bull bites.