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Maryland General Assembly Approves Poker, Other Table Games

New Casino Cleared For Washington D.C. Area


Gov. Martin O'MalleyEarly Wednesday morning, Maryland lawmakers passed legislation that will allow casinos to spread poker and other table games. In addition, a new Las Vegas-style casino has been approved for Prince George County, just minutes from Washington D.C.

The proposed property, along with with a downtown Baltimore casino to be operated by Caesars Entertainment, gives Maryland six casinos. Currently, MGM Resorts International appears to be the frontrunner for the Prince George County casino license.

The special session of the Maryland General Assembly worked well into the night before the measure cleared the House with a 71 to 58 vote. Afterwards, the Senate approved the bill with a vote of 32 to 14.

Gov. Martin O’Malley has already pledged to sign his approval for the bill, which will give voters the final say in November. Prince George County voters, however, will have the final say. If a majority of the county’s voters fail to support the legislation, then the statewide votes will not matter.

While casino operators are pleased with table games expansion, not everyone was thrilled to hear about a new casino in Prince George County. Critics of the legislation believe that the state has too quickly become over saturated with casinos.

In order to combat the increase in competition, a proposal to lower casino taxes for the existing property in Anne Arundel County, as well as the incoming downtown Baltimore casino, was approved.

Additionally, a Tuesday amendment to the bill will allow various veterans organizations to install slot machine-like lottery devices.

Some of the finer points of the bill include.

  • Permits a new casino with table games and 3,000 slot machines in Prince George County
  • Allows all casinos to spread table games such as poker, craps, roulette and blackjack
  • Grants a lower tax rate to Maryland Live! casino and planned Caesars Entertainment casino in Baltimore
  • Gives an increase in casino’s revenue share to Worcester County casino and planned casino in Allegany County
  • Gives an added tax rate cut for casinos who own their own slot machines
  • Permits veterans groups to have up to five instant pull tab gaming machines at their facilities
  • Allows casinos to remain open 24 hours a day

Gov. Martin O’Malley called for the special session after the General Assembly failed to approve table games expansion last April before running out of time.