By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Paving the way for table games. The House of Delegates has given initial approval to expanding Maryland’s casinos.

State lawmakers are working deep into the night to reach a deal on expanded gambling, an issue that’s drawing passionate arguments on both sides of the debate.

Pat Warren has more.

The governor’s expanded gambling bill is slowly making its way to final passage.

Gambling in Maryland. In the General Assembly–just like in the casinos–the House rules.

“Well, the House is trying to put out a great product,” said a supporter.

Supporters say it’s a sure bet that the more money the state gets from casinos, the less money comes out of your wallet in taxes for the state education fund and the more wages go into the pocket for future jobs for the presently unemployed.

Labor organizations rallying Tuesday say approval is critical for thousands of jobs a sixth casino will bring to Prince George’s County but Baltimore delegations say, not on our backs.

“My delegation will not vote for it,” said an opponent.

And neither will some in Prince George’s. Opponents fear the state is moving too fast with too few assurances.

“The three kings of gambling and slots may not be standing with us today but we have a full House here today,” said an opponent.

It’s dicey.

“Some of our elected officials are looking to feather their own nests,” said one opponent.

The pressure is still on the governor to get the 71 votes needed to pass. It looks like the governor does have those votes and the bill could pass at any time.

The bill could be signed into law immediately after passing the House and Senate.


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