The lawmakers of the State of Maryland have created a legal framework that makes it legal for casinos to offer table games, including poker. Besides, they have also approved the establishment of a new land casino in Prince George County, close to Washington DC. Once this new casino, along with another casino belonging to Caesars Entertainment, is launched in downtown Baltimore, Maryland will have a total of six land casinos. The possibility of MGM Resorts International getting the license to run the land casino in Prince George County is quite high.
During a special session of the general assembly in Maryland, the lawmakers spent several night hours discussing the proposed casino and the proposed bill to legalize table games, including poker. Once the proposed measure got a 71 to 58 vote in House, the Senate approved the same with a 32 to 14 vote.
Martin O’ Malley, governor of Maryland, has already stated that he will definitely approve the bill, but voters in Prince George County will have the final say on the matter this November. The statewide votes will be considered null and void if the proposal does not get majority votes at the county level.
Although casino operators are delighted that table games are legalized, everybody is not happy about the proposed Prince George County casino. According to critics of the new law, Maryland will become oversaturated with land casinos, leading to stiff competition. Therefore, a proposal to lower taxes for the Anne Arundel County Casino and the Downtown Baltimore Casino was also approved. An amendment legalizing lottery games similar to slot machine games was also passed.
To put it in a nutshell, the new law approves a brand new casino in Prince George County with 3000 slot machine games and table games, permits casinos to offer table games such as blackjack, roulette, craps, and poker, lowers tax rates for Maryland Live! Casino and Caesars Entertainment Casino in Downtown Baltimore, raises casino revenue share for Allegany County Casino and Worcester County Casino, offers extra tax discount for casinos that own slot machine games, permits as many as five instant win game machines at casino outlets belonging to veteran groups, and allows casinos to offer 24-hour services.
The special session during which the above decisions were taken was convened by Governor Martin O’Malley especially because the Maryland general assembly had failed to come to a consensus regarding table games in April, last year.