“Yes” Vote For Expanded Gambling Sets Stage For More Political Battles In Maryland

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Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (CBSDC) - Tuesday morning began for the Maryland House of Delegates with the expectation that nightfall would bring a final vote on Gov. O’Malley’s gambling expansion bill.

That expectation wasn’t misguided, but what couldn’t have been predicted, is just how deep into the cover of nightfall that final vote would take them.

It was a close vote.

Requiring a majority of 71 “yes” votes for approval, the bill that will bring a sixth casino to the state of Maryland and the first to Prince George’s County, earned exactly that – 71 “yes” votes.

“There’s some winners, there’s some losers, but in the end, I think the House did a pretty good job,” said Delegate Jon Cardin of Baltimore County.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III was ecstatic with the turnout, who told WNEW’s John Domen, “I think this puts us on the way not only at creating jobs in Prince George’s County and the state of Maryland, but also revenues for both the state and the county.”

Not everyone who has been on the side of gambling in the past was as elated as Baker though, like Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold, who said a new casino in Prince George’s County could lead to a 40% drop-off at Maryland Live which opened just next door in June in Anne Arundel County.

Now all that remains is the vote of public approval, and then its time to decide where a sixth casino would best fit in Prince George’s County.

The battle between the two possible landing sites for the casino has been well underway; a fight which could have Rosecroft Raceway and National Harbor coming to the final blows. Rosecroft officials believe its raceway will no longer be able to sustain itself should the casino land in National Harbor.

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