Maryland, after much debate, has decided to permit large-scale gambling across the state by a 52% vote. While some worry about Maryland becoming a new gambling hot spot, the majority of voters are pleased with the extra tax revenue to schools the casinos will bring.
Maryland Approves Large Scale Gambling State Wide
Casinos have been a heated topic in the state of Maryland since they were first introduced back in 2007. Maryland initially allowed five slot-machine only casinos into the state but wanted to ensure that the voters had the final say on allowing more elaborate gaming into the state. That’s a little humorous to some readers, slot machines only. The state, in effort to protect it’s citizens only allowed the gambling games with the worst odds for players…
Bringing in fully operational casinos is historically the most costly campaign brought to Maryland voters to date, with well over $90 million having been spent campaigning primarily by Penn National Gaming Inc. and MGM. Some voters say the decision was expected but the approval is still a heated topic.
Before official development can begin, several residents against the bill are attempting to contest the results by filing a lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, involves how the voters were asked the question which led to the approval of larger scale gambling within the state.
The bill was passed using a ballot question rather than having a majority of registered voters approve the proposal. The residents believe that this method of bill passing violates the state’s constitution because the proposal was not introduced as a proposal, but rather simply as Question 7 in a series.
However, plans to create a more entertaining coastline are already being made. Rushem Baker, who is a supporter of the bill, believes that the National Harbor could become the next hot spot with a little work. His vision would compare the area to Atlantic City and some areas of Las Vegas.
Much of the area, which is close to Washington, is already tourist friendly, boasting many hotels, restaurants, and stores. This makes National Harbor an excellent location to add entertainment, such as a casino. The areas local residents are used to enjoying high-end entertainment, so the casinos would be very profitable, as well as boost tourism to the area.
MGM also began planning very quickly after the decision was made. MGM’s CEO, Jim Murren, has already announced the company’s intention of building a large casino in Prince George’s County. They are eager to see new competition and are working on a classy design to encompass nearly 3,000 machines and tables. The development would be completed sometime in 2016.
Planning for additional casinos in the area is also underway. Caesars Entertainment has already received approval to open a casino in the Baltimore region in 2014. Another casino, which is yet to be named, is being planned for an early fall 2013 opening in Rocky Gap State Park. Both locations will not only introduce large casinos into the area but are likely to feature luxury hotels and dining as well.
Existing casinos are also taking the new law into their current layout plans. While they could not add table games instantly, the Maryland casinos will slowly begin to add them into their layouts within a year.
Other well known casino names, however, are choosing to stay out of Maryland. Wynn Resorts Ltd, for example, is planning its next super-casino destination in Philadelphia. The company is applying for the gaming license this week and is planning the property with 300 rooms, 100 table games, and 2,500 slot machines. If the license is approved, this will be the third large casino Wynn Resorts owns, creating more tourist competition for Maryland.
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