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Game On! Maryland Voters Approve Expanded Gambling

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Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A record of money was spent on Maryland’s expanded gambling question. Voters looked past the campaign against it and said “yes” to Question 7.

Political reporter Pat Warren looks at what’s ahead.

For the state, expanded gambling means jobs and money. For the casinos, it means a full house.

National Harbor celebrates bright shiny noisy money–Money that John Boteler of Baltimore spends in Delaware.

“I just got back from Dover the other day, yesterday as a matter of fact, playing table games,” Boteler said.

Money George Fithian spends in West Virginia.

“I went to other states to play other games, mainly West Virginia,” he said.

Money supporters convinced voters needs to stay here.

“You don’t want to upset Jonathan Ogden,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in an ad.

“No, you don’t,” Ogden replied.

By the will of the voters, Maryland’s gambling industry will finally be running with the big dogs.

“With respect to expanded gambling, I’m glad I didn’t have to send Mr. Odgen down to West Virginia,” said Rawlings-Blake.

While a majority of those living outside the Baltimore area voted “no,” the “yes” votes in polling centers in the city and surrounding D.C. carried the day.

“I was happy. Now I don’t have to go to Delaware and West Virginia to play slots anymore,” said Boteler.

“This new money will help us grow,” said Rawlings-Blake.

“We believe there’s a very, very strong interest in the live table games coming,” said Robert Norton, Maryland Live! Casino.

Table games are now allowed in addition to slots at Maryland casinos. It also increases the number of slot machines in the state, and it allows the state to license a sixth casino planned for National Harbor.

“I will be probably stay here now that I don’t have to travel so far,” said Fithian.

And instead of closing hours, players can now play 24-7.

The campaign against expanded gambling was funded by Penn National Gaming, the owners of a casino in West Virginia.

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