Maryland casino operators wanted table games; those in neighboring states would rather we kept it to slots. So, with well-moneyed, vested interests on both sides of the expanded gambling referendum — which, as you probably know, passed — the battle became “by far” the most expensive political campaign in Maryland history, topping $93 million.
Courtesy Citybizlist – Potomac Gourmet Market sits just a block away from MGM Resorts International’s new visitor center at National Harbor.
It is one of dozens of local businesses that may be affected by the outcome of Question 7, the Maryland ballot item that could decide whether MGM will be allowed to build a casino at the Prince George’s County site. The visitor center opened in September as part of MGM’s campaign to win approval for a destination casino.
Excuse me?! I don’t know if you all remember the slots referendum that Maryland voters approved in 2008, but — just like this year’s gambling referendum — it promised that it was all for the “primary purpose” of funding education. Well, apparently the mayor’s not on board. Instead, she’s using the $11 million that Harrah’s will pay the city in its first year of operation to fund a “small property tax cut.” This was approved back in April by the City Council, but it contradicts what voters approved in 2008.
Courtesy Citybizlist – Maryland Live! Casino reported paying more than$23.7 million in gaming taxes to the State of Maryland after its first full month of operation. July 2012 taxes were based on the State’s 67% portion of $35,408,769.62 in gaming revenue generated by the facility, a win per machine per day of approximately $351.54.
Long-term solutions to a city’s chronic problems are difficult, and by nature slow to bear fruit — so often in politics we gravitate to whatever will put us in the black the quickest and call it a win. So it is, in my opinion, with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s push for table games to be added to the state’s five casinos.