Expanded Gambling Is The Most Expensive Political Battle In Md. History

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Massive amounts of money are being poured into the casino controversy. Expanded gambling is now the most expensive political battle ever waged in the state of Maryland.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the impact that money might have.

Some major power players are involved in the fight to expand gambling here in Maryland, and they are spending huge amounts of money to make their case heard.

Business is booming at Maryland’s newest casino but it’s the governor’s plan to build a new casino at National Harbor and allow table games that’s become one of the hottest issues of the election season.

Commercial after commercial on Question 7 flood the airwaves. Opponents and supporters have now spent close to a record-breaking $40 million for ads on Question 7.

The bulk of that money comes from Penn National Gaming, the owners of Rosecroft Raceway. They’ve spent $21.6 million in their campaign against expanded gambling.

MGM Resorts–the company vying to build the new casino at National Harbor–has spent $14.4 million in support.

Caesars Entertainment, which is building the new casino here in Baltimore, has also spent $3.4 million supporting Question 7. That’s because they want to put table games here.

But political analyst Matthew Crenson warns the overwhelming number of political ads may backfire.

“People are getting tired of seeing these ads and I think some of them are getting angry and when people get angry, they tend to go negative,” Crenson said.

But the spending spree may not stop until the last vote is counted on Election Day.

To put it into perspective, $40 million is more money than was spent on the entire last race for governor.

The political ads are only expected to intensify as Election Day draws closer.

More from Meghan McCorkell
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