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Eye on Annapolis: Casino campaign spending surpasses $50 million

Spending to influence Maryland’s referendum that would expand casino gambling has exceeded $50 million, according to state campaign finance records.

Proponents have retaken the lead in the money race, with MGM Resorts International Inc., which is angling to build a casino at National Harbor, adding $3 million to the cause. CBAC Gaming LLC — led by Caesars Entertainment Corp., which is planning a casino on Russell Street in Baltimore — has donated $1.1 million to the ballot issue committee For Maryland Jobs and Schools Inc.

That brings total spending by supporters to $27.6 million. Penn National Gaming Inc., the only company opposing the referendum, has put $25.1 million into its campaign account, Get the Facts — Vote No on 7.

A “yes” vote for Question 7 would allow the construction of a casino in Prince George’s County and the legalization of table games at every Maryland casino. Penn is fighting the law because it believes Rosecroft Raceway, a facility it owns in Fort Washington, will not be seriously considered as a location for Maryland’s sixth authorized casino.

Without that business, Penn fears it will take a financial hit because Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town, W.Va., draws many of its players from the Washington suburbs.

Penn National is also operator of Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County, Maryland’s first commercial gambling site.


  1. The residents of Prince George Co. should be the people making the decision on whether or not slots come to National Harbor. But the question on allowing table games and 24 hour operations could be supported by the citizens of Baltimore City, Baltimore well as Anne Arundel Co., to determine if Maryland gaming can keep it’s players from traveling to Atlantic City or Pennsylvania; where table games have recently been added. Table games would nearly double the casino employment, increase tax revenues and complete the gaming experience at Maryland’s existing and under construction facilities.

  2. The Fee Club is excited about the opening of this casino and all the opportunities that will come from this. We believe Annapolis will make a perfect Junket trip destination for our members; as a beautful city with a vibrant nightlife, we are positive it will appeal to many.