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Majority Of Marylanders Say They Want Gambling Back On Ballot

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Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland voters weigh in on the latest state gaming controversy and a poll shows they are ready to vote. Political reporter Pat Warren explains 83% say they want gambling on the November ballot.

A plan for a special session to put gaming proposals on the ballot was derailed by members of the House of Delegates last week. They failed to agree on a casino at National Harbor or a lower tax rate for casino operators.

Now citizens are getting involved. This month, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance mailed a message to Marylanders warning against a lower tax rate for casinos.

But the Washington Building and Trades Council is airing this ad supporting the proposal as a job creator and rallied at the State House Monday.

“They ought to be creating opportunities like this, running with it, supporting it and putting folks to work is what they ought to be doing,” said Vance Ayers, Building Trades Council.

Of the 821 registered voters polled Friday and Saturday, 53% believe the state’s slots plan can be better, 52% support table games and 57% do when jobs are taken into account, 58% believe the governor and legislators should work harder to come to agreement.

Opinion Works also asked voters if National Harbor in Prince George’s County should be rejected because of competition with Arundel Mills.

“Two-thirds of them said, `No, you should go ahead on its own merits,’” said Steve Rabe.

According to the pollster, not only is the public registering a high interest in seeing the issue on the November ballot, there’s a high level of fatigue over seeing gambling come up over and over again. They want to get it done now.

Governor Martin O’Malley and House Speaker Michael Busch met Friday but differences have yet to be resolved.

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