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Baltimore delegation has handful of amendments to gambling bill

Baltimore lawmakers in the House of Delegates have several problems with the casino gambling bill passed by the Senate on Friday and plan to offer five amendments to correct some of those issues.

Del. Curtis S. Anderson, a city Democrat who chairs the delegation, was mystified by some measures in SB 1.

“Did they think we weren’t going to read the bill, or what?” Anderson said to reporters after a delegation meeting in which lawmakers agreed to request changes to the bill.

The delegation agreed to an amendment that would prevent a Prince George’s County casino from opening until the city’s facility on Russell Street had been open for 30 months. The Senate bill allowed the Prince George’s gambling site to open no later than July 2016.

Lawmakers also agreed to spike a measure that would allow the licensee for the Prince George’s facility to operate a table games-only facility immediately after receiving the license award.

“Certainly, without those two things, the delegation will not vote for the bill,” Anderson said.

The chairman said he would also have amendments drafted to guarantee minority business participation through July 2018. The Senate bill allows that protection to be nullified in July 2018.

The Senate bill also allows the Department of Legislative Services to correct drafting errors in the bill without consent of the General Assembly, a measure the city delegation was wary of.

Only one amendment — which would take the city’s 5 percent share of table game revenue and split it evenly between recreation center funding and school construction — was voted on by delegates. The other amendments were not yet drafted but the delegation agreed to sponsor them.

The gambling bill is expected to be voted out of the Ways and Means Committee, with amendments, this afternoon. The full House plans to reconvene at 5 p.m.

One comment

  1. i think it would only help maryland