Plenty of talk about Prince George’s casino bill

Whatever the fate of a bill that would allow a casino in Prince George’s County, there will be plenty discussion of about it in the home stretch of the Maryland General Assembly’s annual session.


Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) in Annapolis last year. (Photo by Mark Gail/The Washington Post)

It will be Baker’s third appearance in the capital in as many days related to the heavily lobbied bill. Delegates, who remain divided over the prospect of Prince George’s playing host to a casino, have asked legislative staff for a briefing on a bill that passed the Senate last week on an unexpectedly strong 35-to-11 vote.

Besides inviting bids for a sixth Maryland casino in a western swath of Prince George’s, the Senate bill would also allow Las Vegas-style table games at the state’s five previously authorized slots sites. Both provisions are contingent upon voter approval in November. Rosecroft Raceway is another possible venue for a casino as the bill is written.

The House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over gaming bills, has scheduled a hearing on the Senate legislation on Tuesday afternoon.

That will leave a little less than a week for delegates to act one way or another on the controversial legislation before adjourning for the year.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.
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