Wednesday August 8,2012 : MARYLAND SESSION WILL NOT DISCUSS INTERNET GAMBLING
Item removed from the agenda in the face of political opposition
The recent news that Maryland politicians would be including internet gambling in a special session on the expansion of gambling in the state has been followed by a comment from the Speaker's office that e-gaming would not be on the roll "following numerous discussions."
Speaker Michael Busch emailed lawmakers late last week advising of the addition to the agenda, triggering an immediate outcry and opposition from a number of legislators who claimed they did not know enough about the subject to discuss it, and that it would take up too much time reserved for debate on other aspects of gambling expansion.
Kristin F. Jones, Busch’s chief of staff, said Tuesday that the inclusion of internet gaming was discussed but never fleshed out.
“After numerous discussions, the House has decided not to include an Internet gaming component in any legalization it advances during the special session,” Jones said.
The primary focus of the session will be whether to allow a new casino in Prince George’s County and Las Vegas-style table games at Maryland’s existing slots site. Gov. Martin O’Malley is expected to release a draft bill as early as Tuesday.
O’Malley was noncommittal on the e-gaming issue Tuesday.
The e-gaming proposal came originally from the Cordish companies, which own land operations that include Maryland Live! The casino owner has opposed the introduction of another land casino in Prince George on grounds that it will impact its market, but suggested that if licensed land casinos in Maryland were permitted to offer internet gaming, it would compensate for the additional competition of another land casino.