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Casino Funds Helping Fight Crime In Maryland

When anti-gambling groups come up with bullet points on how they are going to voice their displeasure with gaming initiatives, at the top of the list is usually crime. For decades, anti-gaming groups have been claiming that casinos are a gateway to increased crime.

In Maryland, the Casino at Ocean Downs is actually going in the opposite direction. Proceeds from the tax revenue at the casino are being used to combat crime, by going to pay police officers in surrounding areas. It is a phenomenon that will surely hurt anti-gambling groups in the future.

"Casino gambling has changed so much over the past quarter-century," said Gary Bliffen, a Worcester County resident. "The perception that casinos are bad for a neighborhood is no longer accurate. I have been to Ocean Downs, and that casino is one of the nicest I have seen. It certainly doesn't scream crime."

Ocean City will be spending their portion of the gaming revenue in several different areas including paying for police officers salaries. Berlin is where perhaps the biggest law enforcement impact will be seen, with property being purchased for a police station. Once constructed, the station will employ officers working to keep the city free of crime.

In Worcester County, a new technical high school will be built. That will ensure that students receive a higher education in fields that will help keep the county economically viable in the future. All of these plans were contingent on hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue generated from Ocean Downs.

Maryland is one of the Northeastern states that has jumped headfirst into gambling expansion. The casinos in Maryland are now competing with similar facilities in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Maine, and Delaware. Massachusetts lawmakers are working on expansion that would bring casinos resorts to their state as well.

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