The Washington Post

On new Web site, pro-casino group counts lost gaming dollars

Developer Milton V. Peterson stands at the site where he wants to build a high-end casino at National Harbor. (Photo by Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post)

The latest: a new Web site featuring a continuously updated, national-debt-style clock that purportedly shows how much tax revenue is being lost each second the legislature waits to pass an expanded gambling plan.

The site, authorized by the Building Trades for National Harbor, also includes two other clocks.

One shows money the state is losing while continuing its practice of buying or leasing slot machines for casino owners, rather than having the owners do that themselves, as is the case in most states. A shift in that responsibility was among the recommendations of a work group launched by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) that also weighed the merits of a Prince George’s County casino.

The third clock shows money leaving the state as gamblers continue to travel to casinos in West Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania, all of which have table games, unlike Maryland’s three open slots facilities.

The labor-led group is also airing pro-National Harbor television and radio ads and coordinating phone calls to lawmakers.

The numbers on its Web site are certain to be disputed by the Cordish Cos., the developer of Maryland Live! casino in Anne Arundel County and the most vocal opponent of a new site in neighboring Prince George’s.

In filings with O’Malley’s work group, Cordish contended the state could actually lose tax revenue under a plan that included a Prince George’s casino. That’s in part because the state does not have enough gamblers to sustain a new facility, the company argued.

Cordish instead suggested what it dubbed a sure bet to generate more revenue for the state: allowing table games at Maryland’s five previously authorized slots sites (two of those have yet to open).

The coming weeks will be crucial in the debate. O’Malley continues to weigh whether to call a special session on expanded gambling.

His work group recommended against that, because three members — all from the House of Delegates — withheld their support from a proposed plan. The plan included authorizing a Prince George’s casino, pending voter approval in November.

The five O’Malley appointees and three senators on the 11-member panel all endorsed the plan.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
In defense of dads
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
How to keep your child safe in the water
How your online data can get hijacked
Play Videos
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom