Prince George’s Casino Bill May be Heading for Key Vote
Controversial bill could see budget panel vote next week.
A bill that would lead to the legalization of gambling in Prince George’s County may be headed for a key budget panel vote next week in the state Senate, according to reports.
Meanwhile, the legislation is currently working its way through a House committee, where a hearing on the bill is scheduled for Friday, according to The Washington Post.
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker has been advocating for a casino to be built at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, while officials at the nearby Rosecroft Raceway have been calling for a casino to be built at their location.
The news comes as Baker is warning that the county is looking at a $126 million budget deficit. Baker has said that revenues generated from a casino could help expand the county’s commercial tax base and bring in 5,000 jobs.
Still, the legislation is facing an uphill battle. Last month, the county council gave a thumbs-down vote to a proposed gambling bill in the General Assembly. Council members said that bill failed to specify what revenues generated by slots would go to the county.
Business owners are also critical of the bill, including the developer behind a casino in Anne Arundel County that is expected to open in June.
Baker will be on hand for Friday's hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee.