A gambling bill set to be introduced Monday in the Maryland Senate is drawing most attention for its authorization of Las Vegas-style tables games at existing casinos and its call for a new location in Prince George’s County.
But the legislation also includes several less-noticed but still-noteworthy provisions related to casino ownership, alcohol and entertainment.
Among the most significant is the repeal of a prohibition in existing law that limits individuals or businesses from owning more than one Maryland casino.
That provision could benefit Penn National Gaming, the owner of Hollywood Casino Perryville, which was the first slots venue to open in Maryland. Rosecroft Raceway, one of the potential sites for a casino in Prince George’s, is also owned by Penn National.
The new bill, sponsored by Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters (D-Prince George’s) with the backing of Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), would also do away with a provision in existing law that keeps casinos from offering free or discounted alcohol to its patrons.
And the bill also loosens some restrictions on amenities that can be offered at the Casino at Ocean Downs on the Eastern Shore.
In response to concerns from businesses in nearby Ocean City, the General Assembly outlawed several forms of entertainment on or near the casino property.
Under the new legislation, those that would become legal include: amusement rides, miniature golf, live music and dancing.