Had the legislative session not been allowed to come to a close without action being taken on the gambling bill, Maryland would have been looking at a very different gambling industry. The bill in question would have introduced quite a few dramatic changes to the industry. At the moment there are only five gambling venues approved in Maryland, this new bill would have increased the number to six, creating a venue in Prince George’s County, very close to Washington, D.C. In a addition to the creation of a new casino, the state was finally be given the chance to compete with neighboring states with the legalization of table games. There was even a measure in the bill that would have finally lowered the unreasonable gambling tax on slot machines.
Some have argued that the only people that could possibly care about the changes being introduced in this bill would be the gambling industry. However, I think that is very short sighted. Certainly all of these changes are a ploy to get the gambling industry interested in doing more business in Maryland, however, Maryland’s gambling industry will never crawl out of its infancy and it will never be able to compete with neighboring states unless the gambling industry is given a reason to invest in it. The whole idea behind building a gambling industry in Maryland was to provide additional revenue to the state’s educational program without hiking up personal taxes. None of that will happen if the state does not become host to a market that the gambling industry wants to invest in.