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Maryland Lawmakers Discuss Table Games For State Casinos

The state of Maryland has successfully moved into the casino gambling industry, opening several casinos in recent years. Now that lawmakers have seen what the casinos can bring in terms of tax revenue, lawmakers are considering adding even more options at these casinos.

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee is listening to proposals this week on a bill that would add table games to existing casinos, while authorizing a new casino in Prince George. The measurer would ensure hundreds of millions in additional tax revenue for the state at a time when the economy is still slowly recovering from the economic recession.

Table games would be a major get for Maryland casinos if they have any chance of competing with other Northeastern states in the gaming industry. New Jersey already allowed table games in their casinos, and Pennsylvania added blackjack, roulette, and other table games last summer. In Pennsylvania, revenue has skyrocketed since the inclusion of the table games.

"There is no reason in today's society to go half-fast into the casino industry," said Gaming Analyst Brad Dawkins. "Too many states are now authorizing casinos, and those without popular table games will still be left out in terms of where gamblers will go. Games such as blackjack and craps are a must if casinos expect to attract high rollers from the area."

Pennsylvania has been the model example of East Coast states. Since authorizing table games, Pennsylvania casinos have experienced a major boom in business. Analysts predict that by the end of this year, Pennsylvania casinos should pass New Jersey casinos in overall revenue.

In Maryland, support is lining up behind the gambling expansion bill. At Wednesday's hearing in the Senate committee, union workers, business leaders, and developers all took turns voicing their opinion on the issue. The construction union workers are desperate for new projects, and a new casino in Prince George could put thousands of employees to work in the construction phase of the casino development.

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