Pro-casino group launches TV ads


A view of National Harbor in Oxon Hill. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

The push follows last week’s collapse of a work-group proposal on expanded gambling that included both a sixth casino in Maryland, in Prince George’s County, and table games at existing slots venues.

The new ad promises “Millions For Schools & Teachers” and “Thousands of New Jobs” and features images of schoolchildren, construction workers, National Harbor in Oxon Hill and the State House in Annapolis.

It is being aired by the Building Traders for the National Harbor, a coalition led by the Washington DC Building Trades Council, whose members could benefit from the casino jobs.

For now, there are no plans to run the ad in the Washington media market, which is far more expensive.

The same group has taken to the radio as well, and staged a news conference Monday in Annapolis at which it touted a poll it commissioned showing a majority of Marylanders don’t want state leaders to give up on reaching a gambling accord.

Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) had advertised a special session on the issue next month, but that prospect seems in serious doubt given that the work group he launched failed to find consensus last week.

The three House members on the panel were the holdouts on a plan endorsed by five O’Malley appointees and three state senators. O’Malley met privately with Busch on Friday night, but there were no reports of significant progress toward a deal.

The notion of a new casino in Prince George’s is vigorously opposed by the owner of Maryland Live!, a casino that opened this month in neighboring Anne Arundel County.

A group of religious leaders from Prince George’s has also been fighting the introduction of a casino in the county.

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

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