Maryland House Continues Work On Altering State Gambling Plan
The Maryland Senate did their job when it comes to major gambling expansion in the state when they passed a major gaming expansion bill last week. Today, it was the House's turn to argue over the legislation, and tempers were flaring during the heated discussion.
The divide between pro and anti-gambling lawmakers has always been wide in the US. Anti-gambling legislators have been holding to traditional values that claim all forms of gambling are harmful to society. Over the past decade, pro-gaming lawmakers have convinced many of their peers that gambling could also be a major source of revenue and job production.
On Monday, the Maryland House took up legislation that would bring a new casino to Prince George, and would also open the door for table games at all Maryland casinos. The amount of slot machines would also grown by the thousands if the bill passes the House and voters approve the measure later this year.
Some of the issues being discussed in the House had to deal with how to handle the tax structure for the additional gambling. The current tax rate would likely change if such a broad expansion plan is approved. Maryland voters have shown in recent years that they are in favor of making Maryland one of the top gaming destinations in the country.
As was the case with Pennsylvania, once residents got a taste of what the new casinos could offer, they naturally wanted more. Table games would bring over $100 million annually to the Maryland budget, and would create thousands of jobs. The job creation is what is most appealing to the legislators that are trying to save their own jobs in the upcoming election.
Anti-gambling lawmakers have clung to the idea that the original intent of the casinos that have been authorized was to supplement the state budget. These lawmakers believe that further expansion would create more social problems than the revenue or the jobs would be worth.
Maryland is one of the leaders in dealing with problem gambling. The state puts aside a portion of all revenue, and is aggressive in ensuring that all residents have treatment and prevention options.
April 9, 2012
Posted By April Gardner
Staff Editor, CasinoGamblingWeb.com
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