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House Of Delegates To Make Changes To Expanded Gambling Bill

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—It’s a heated debate, and it’s far from over. There are new questions about the impact of expanded gambling in Maryland, and the special session could take a turn.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains some lawmakers want to change a bill passed by the Senate.

That’s what’s going to happen. There will be some changes by the House, but the tricky part is that any changes must be approved by the Senate.

On a roll or crapping out? The expanded gambling bill could hit a snag in the House of Delegates unless some changes are made.

Some lawmakers are opposed on principle.

“Well, the voters feel frustrated because they don’t seem to have any power over this special session. It’s the governor and the leadership. So I said let’s make the special session null and void and useless,” said Pat McDonough, R-Baltimore County.

Others see it as economically flawed.

“Because there are so many things in that bill that are detrimental to Baltimore City that my delegation will not vote for it,” said Curt Anderson, Baltimore Delegation.

The state stands to cash in on millions of casino dollars if the House of Delegates plays the hand the governor’s dealing to add table games, reduce the tax rate on casinos and approve a sixth license  to allow a new casino built at National Harbor, which is expected to draw out-of-state visitors.

“You know there’s an old saying ‘Don’t tax me. Don’t tax thee. Tax the guy behind the tree.’ I think we’ve actually found the guy behind the tree, and he’s in Virginia and will hopefully cross the Woodrow Wilson Bridge,” said Sen. Richard Madaleno, D-Montgomery County.

Some are giving long odds on the Baltimore City Delegation’s approval.

“If they don’t get my delegation’s approval, the bill won’t pass,” Anderson said.

A House committee is currently working on amendments, and the full House is expected to come back into session Monday evening.

The special session is expected to last through Wednesday.

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