Martin O’Malley, governor of Maryland, has arranged a legislative session on August 9 to discuss the introduction of table games to Maryland’s existing land gambling outlets. The lawmakers will also discuss the pros and cons of expanding Maryland’s brick-and-mortar gambling industry.

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Besides discussing the advantages and disadvantages of introducing blackjack and other table games in existing land casinos, the law makers will also consider a proposal to construct Maryland’s sixth land casino in Prince George County and the possibilities of following in the footsteps of Delaware and Nevada and legalizing and regulating online poker, online casino gaming, and online sports betting.

The governor wasted no time in calling this meeting, considering the fact that Maryland’s neighbor Delaware was quick to pass a bill to expand its gambling industry last month and Delaware Governor Jack Markell was quick to sign the bill into law. Maryland’s lawmakers are now worried that Delaware’s Gaming Competitiveness Act 2012, which legalizes keno gaming and NFL betting all over Delaware, might create stiff competition to Maryland’s own land casino industry.

Michael Busch, house speaker, submitted a memorandum recently to the House Democratic Caucus that Maryland ought to keep its gaming program equal to other mid Atlantic gambling jurisdictions to maintain health competition so that players from outside Maryland are attracted and players from within Maryland are encouraged to stay at home.

In the November polls, voters will decide if the proposal to expand Maryland’s land casino industry can be actually implemented. However, lawmakers in Maryland are first required to approve the move before August 20 so that the referendum can be laid on ballot. The legislators, therefore, do not have a lot of time to get their facts straight. Thomas V. Mike Miller, senate president, is optimistic and feels that there is ample time for the lawmakers to come to an agreement.

Miller, one of the strongest advocates of gambling expansion in Maryland, said, “We’re going to work together. Hopefully, we can get this done in a matter of days. I’m confident the people will overwhelmingly ratify this because it’s a win-win for the people of the state of Maryland.”

David Cordish, owner of a land casino in Maryland, had earlier expression his opposition to gambling expansion because of the competition it could create for Maryland Live Casino, which he owns. Later, Cordish changed his mind because the state might permit him to launch online gambling services within Maryland.

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