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Maryland Politics
Posted at 07:35 AM ET, 08/08/2012

Key provisions of O’Malley’s gambling bill

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley on Tuesday proposed legislation that would allow a new casino in Prince George’s County, as well as table games, such as black jack and roulette, at existing slots sites.


Under Gov. Martin O’Malley’s gambling bill, table games, such as this craps table at Revel in the Atlantic City, would be allowed. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
Both provisions would be subject to a statewide vote in November, and a Prince George’s facility would not move forward without a majority vote in that jurisdiction.

The bill seeks to compensate casino owners for the additional competition from Prince George’s with a series of adjustments to the revenues they retain, and it seeks to help two casinos in smaller markets.

On Tuesday night, the governor’s office released both a draft bill and some questions and answers about the legislation.

Here’s a summary of the major provisions in the bill:

SHARES OF SLOTS REVENUE

Under current law, casino operators may keep 33 percent of slots revenue. An exception is a facility in Allegany County, which may keep 50 percent for the next 10 years.

The bill makes several changes that differ among sites.

Anne Arundel County

The facility, which opened in June, is expected to have 4,750 slot machines by this fall.

* Upon the opening of a Prince George’s facility, expected in mid-2016, the Anne Arundel casino would get an additional 5 percent share in revenue to be used for marketing and capital improvements.

* The casino could petition a new gaming commission for an additional adjustment.

* In 2015, the casino would get an additional 6 percent share to compensate it for a new state policy under which larger operators would be required to buy or lease their own slot machines. Currently, the state does that for them.

Baltimore

The facility, which is expected to open in 2014, is allowed 3,750 slot machines.

* Upon the opening of a Prince George’s facility, the Baltimore casino would get an additional 5 percent share in revenue to be used for marketing and capital investments.

* The casino could petition a new gaming commission for an additional adjustment.

* Upon opening, the casino would get an additional 6 percent share because of the new policy of machine procurement.

Cecil County

The facility, which opened in 2010, currently has 1,500 slot machines.

* The casino’s share of slots revenue would remain at 33 percent when a Prince George’s facility opens.

* In 2015, the casino would get an additional 6 percent share to compensate it for the new policy of machine procurement.

Worcester County

The facility, which opened in 2011, has 800 slot machines.

* In July 2013, the casino’s share of slots revenue would increase to 43 percent. Of that, 2.5 percent would have to be spent on capital improvements.

* The state would continue to provide slot machines at the casino.

Allegany County

The facility, which is expected to open in 2013, has said it will have 500 machines.

* The casino’s share of slots revenue would remain at 50 percent for 10 years. After that, the share would drop to 43 percent. Of that, 2.5 percent would have to be spent on capital improvements.

* The state would provide slot machines at the casino.

Prince George’s County

The facility, which would be allowed to open in mid-2016, could have 3,000 slot machines.

* Bids would be taken in which operators could request to retain up to 38 percent of slots revenue.

* Upon opening, the casino would get an additional 6 percent share because of the new policy of machine procurement.

TABLE GAMES

* Licensed slots operators would be allowed to offer table games, such as black jack, roulette and craps.

* The games could be offered as soon as possible after the November election. O’Malley’s office estimates the games would arrive in existing casinos by early 2013.

* Casinos would keep 80 percent of revenues.

* The state would get 20 percent of revenues. If a Prince George’s facility opens, 5 percent of its revenue would go to counties that host casinos.

OTHER KEY PROVISIONS

* Casinos would be allowed to stay open 24 hours. Under current law, they must close at 2 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends.

* Under a new revenue-sharing formula, counties that currently host casinos would be guaranteed that their level of slots revenue does not decrease as a result of new competition in Prince George’s.

* A new gaming commission would be created with additional oversight responsibilities.

* The state would ban campaign contributions from gambling entities.

By  |  07:35 AM ET, 08/08/2012

 
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