ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele says Penn National Gaming Inc. should “butt out” and stop spending millions to defeat gambling expansion in Maryland.

Steele, a former lieutenant governor of Maryland, and former Maryland Republican Party Chairwoman Audrey Scott expressed support for gambling expansion in a letter Tuesday. The ballot question they’re backing would allow table games like blackjack and a casino in Prince George’s County.

Steele and Scott write that Penn National, which owns a casino in Perryville, is working to defeat the proposal because it also owns a casino in West Virginia just over Maryland’s border.

Steele and Scott write that encouraging private investment and increasing competition are hallmarks of the GOP. They also say the expansion would create thousands of jobs.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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