Casino Companies on Both Sides of Maryland Gambling Issue Go All In

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Maryland’s anti-gambling-expansion cause should count themselves lucky that there’s a casino company — Penn National Gaming — that would prefer not to have a new gambling operation go up in Prince George’s County. Otherwise, how could opponents of the new casino (and expansion from slots to table games in Maryland) hope to outspend MGM Resorts International, which has so far shelled out $14.4 million to pass Question 7?

According to the Sun, Penn National has spent $18 million to defeat the referendum and protect its area casinos from competition. Overall, more has been spent on this campaign than was spent on Maryland’s 2006 gubernatorial election.

While I’m happy that we’ve got someone outspending the pro-gambling groups (because I don’t believe that expanding gambling will be a boon for education, or jobs, or the state economy) it’s sad that what is in theory an instance of direct democracy — a voter referendum — has become a financial drag race between two bloated corporate interests.

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