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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—More casinos and more gaming are coming to Maryland. In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the Question 7 voter referendum passed by a narrow margin.
Mike Schuh has more what the gambling expansion bill means for the state.
Question 7 passed with 52 percent of Marylanders for expanded gambling and 48 percent against it.
When you break down those numbers, most of the counties did not want it to pass, but the population centers in Baltimore City and near Washington, D.C. Those counties overwhelmingly voted in favor of Question 7.
It was a battle to the end, but voters have approved an expansion of casino gambling in Maryland. And supporters say it’s bringing big money to the state.
“It’s gonna be more jobs, construction jobs, long-term jobs in the hospitality industry, but it’s also gonna mean more dollars for Maryland schools,” said Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.
The measure will allow table games in addition to existing slots machines, increase the state-wide cap on the number of slots and permit a sixth casino at National Harbor in Prince George’s County.
It landed on the ballot after the General Assembly passed the measure at a special session in August and quickly became the most expensive campaign in Maryland history.
Opponents claim the revenue won’t really fund education as supporters claim and don’t like the tax breaks it offers the casinos.
“It’s a low road to economic development. It’s a race to the bottom,” an opponent said.
But despite opponents’ best efforts to stop Maryland from expanding gaming, the voters are calling it “game on.”
The expanded gambling question drew more than 87 million campaign dollars. That’s more than Maryland’s last race for governor.