Report: Baker Says He was Lied to on Gambling Fumble
As prospects for a Prince George’s County casino fold, county executive said he was misled by state politician, according to The Washington Post.
While odds of state legislators bringing a casino to National Harbor appear to be dwindling, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker is charging that he was lied to by a state politician in garnering support for the project, according to a report in The Washington Post.
In Annapolis last week, plans by legislators to place a voter referendum on the ballot for gambling in November folded. And Baker soon went on the offensive saying he was “lied” to by House Speaker Michael Busch on clearing support for gambling in a special session, reports the Post.
A commission set up to move the referendum forward could not reach an agreement and Baker said he was assured by Busch that there was enough support for the referendum.
“I was lied to by Busch, yes,” Baker told the Post. Baker said he had been given assurances by “the speaker and his folks that they could live with the higher rate structure,” that would have allowed casino owners to keep more of the proceeds and pay less to the state.
The fumble on gambling comes at a precarious time for the county. Earlier this month, the developer at National Harbor commissioned MGM Resorts, known for its Las Vegas destinations, to bring a casino to the development.
Still, Baker is urging state politicians to reconsider and move the gaming expansion forward into Prince George’s County.
“This was about creating jobs and opportunity for our citizens in a time when good jobs are hard to find,” Baker said in a statement. “I strongly encourage the governor, senate president and the speaker to step in and ask the workgroup to hammer out an agreement. The people of Maryland deserve a voice in this, and today’s events appear to have put their chance to be included in jeopardy.”