The 15th of August 2012 witnessed lawmakers in Maryland passing a legislation that will permit casinos to offer poker and other table games. The legislation brings other good news to the gambling industry as well.
In addition to allowing poker and table games, the law even approved a new casino that is very Las Vegas in its style, which is located in Prince George County, very close to Washington D.C.
The property that has been proposed together with a casino in downtown Baltimore will be operated by Caesars Entertainment. The addition of this casino will add up to a total of six casino s in Baltimore. As of now, MGM Resorts International seems to be at the forefront of bidding for the casino license for Prince George County.
Passing the legislation
A special session was held in order to pass this legislation, and the General Assembly of Maryland worked late into the night. The votes were 71 to 58 and the bill was approved by the Senate with a 32 to 14 vote.
Martin O’Malley, the Governor recently pledged to approve the bill and sign for it. Voters will be given the final word for the bill in November. The final say, however lies with the voters from Prince George County. In case the majority of voters from the county oppose the legislation, the statewide votes will not hold good.
Although casino operators are extremely happy about the expansion of table games, the reaction from several in Prince George County was not the same. Citizens who are unhappy with the legislation support their sentiments by stating the state has become saturated with casinos too quickly.
To combat the rising competition, the upcoming Baltimore casino and one in Anne Arundel County have lowered their taxes. The proposal for lowering casino taxes was also recently approved. Also, an amendment to the bill is permitting numerous veterans organizations to put up lottery devices that are similar to slots.
Some other points in the bill include:
- An additional cut on tax rates to casino who have complete ownership of their slot machines
- Casinos are allowed to be open for 24 hours a day
- An increased revenue share will be given to Worcester County casino and also the planned casino in Allegany County
- A lower tax rate granted to Maryland Live! Casino and also the planned casino of Caesars Entertainment in Baltimore
Caesar gains approval
CBAC Gaming is one of Caesars Entertainment’s affiliates and it recently got a license for a property in Baltimore. The property will be called Harrah’s Baltimore and will have over 3,500 slot machines. This property is scheduled to be opened in 2014.
The casino is the fifth one to gain a license in Maryland. The other locations include Ocean Downs, Arundel Mills, a slot parlor located at Rocky Gap and Perryville. The sixth casino also recently got approved. The table games that the recent legislate will permit include roulette, craps and blackjack among other table games.