O’Malley Hopeful On Special Session For Gambling

ANNAPOLIS, Md.(WJZ)—Maryland lawmakers may still be able to reach a consensus that would put expanded gambling on the November ballot and potentially put hundreds of millions of dollars in the state education fund.

Political reporter Pat Warren has the latest with a look at what’s at stake.

Maryland lawmakers take another spin on the wheel of expanded gambling, with an eye on a casino for National Harbor and table games for all.

Supporters have already launched a media campaign urging lawmakers to put gambling on the November ballot.

At a groundbreaking Monday, Gov. Martin O’Malley told reporters what’s at stake.

“One thing that’s at stake is the additional dollars, the $150 million to $200 million that could come to the state. The other thing that’s at stake is all of the progress that we’ve been making together in the toughest of times to build an economy to last through education and through public safety. I don’t want to jeopardize that by the potential of this issue to throw a wrench into everything we’re trying to accomplish,” O’Malley said.

The House and Senate are at odds over gambling, and the competition a new casino could present to existing locations. But a House proposal to create a gaming commission may iron out those wrinkles. The governor’s giving odds.

“I don’t know, 50-50 maybe a little better. We’ll see. We’ll talk tomorrow. On the substance of it I think there’s a pretty broad consensus,” O’Malley said.

While competition remains an issue, the allure of National Harbor keeps bringing lawmakers back to the table on the possibility of a ballot question in November.

Gov. O’Malley meets with the House and Senate leadership Tuesday.

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