Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and former Ravens offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden star in the latest-pro gambling ad paid for by a group urging voters to support Question 7 on Election Day.
Now, they’re apparently working on Baltimore-area voters. Former Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. starred in a commercial last week, as did Gov. Martin O’Malley, who was once mayor of Baltimore.
In the latest ad, Rawlings-Blake stands in front of a towering Ogden, the Ravens’ first-ever pick in the NFL Draft and a former All-Pro left tackle.
“Casino owners in West Virginia are spending millions against Question 7. That upsets me,” Rawlings Blake says as the ad begins. “And, that upsets Jonathan Ogden. You don’t want to upset Jonathan Ogden.”
“No you don’t,” replies the 6-foot-9-inch Ogden, perhaps trying to pull off his best David Banner/Incredible Hulk impression. Ogden lives in Las Vegas, where there are apparently a handful of commercial casinos operating.
The mayor is referring to Penn National Gaming Inc., which has dumped $29.1 million into a campaign account being used to pay for advertising opposing expanded gambling. The company owns Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town, W.Va., which draws a large number of Maryland gamblers.
Rawlings-Blake’s televised endorsement shouldn’t be a surprise, as she was a supporter of gambling expansion all summer. CBAC Gaming LLC, led by Caesars Entertainment Corp., is licensed to build casino on Russell Street that the company says would be more of a destination facility if it includes table games, such as poker.
If Marylanders vote for Question 7, table games will be legal at every state casino and another would be authorized in Prince George’s County. National Harbor appears to be the most likely location.