Voter Approval of Pr. George's Casino Depends on Baltimore Delegation
Del. Maggie McIntosh said it's up to members of the Baltimore City delegation to decide whether a new casino in Prince George's County will go to voters.
Whether voters will get the chance to approve a casino in Prince George’s County depends on the members of the Baltimore City delegation, according to Del. Maggie McIntosh.
McIntosh, part of the Democratic leadership in the House of Delegates, said city legislators would vote to allow a sixth slots casino if they can be convinced it won’t hurt Baltimore’s proposed casino.
"Baltimore City delegates are not going to vote for the sixth site if it short changes Baltimore City," McIntosh said. "They can’t pass it without our votes."
McIntosh, who represents much of North Baltimore, made her comments when speaking to residents at the York Road Partnership meeting on Wednesday.
Gov. Martin O'Malley was set to call a special session on July 9, but the House was unable to reach an agreement with the Senate on a gambling bill.
In 2008, voters approved a referendum allowing the state to open five slots casinos in Maryland. But now some legislators want to open a sixth site at the National Harbor and allow table games.
County Executive Rushern Baker supports the idea of a casino at the National Harbor and says it's an opportunity to generate education funding for the state, as well as a way to increase tax revenue for the county, The Washington Post reports.
“The economy around us has changed,” Baker told The Post. “There are far fewer revenue options for the county or the state. . . . We’re going to do everything we can to get this bill passed.”
McIntosh said there is a sense of urgency to get the issue on the ballot because it would be two years before it could be put to the voters again. She said approving an additional casino and expanded gambling could mean $200 million for the state that would be directed to schools and property tax relief.
Alexandra Scarfone contributed to this report.