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New group supporting gambling expansion

Future site of Harrah's Baltimore on Russell Street.

A brand-new ballot issue committee reported Friday it has spent $816,324.14 but has disclosed just the $350,000 of its contributions that have gone toward supporting expanded gambling.

Forward Maryland, which is actually urging voters to support every law petitioned or otherwise placed on the ballot, received $250,000 from CBAC Gaming LLC, the Caesars Entertainment Corp.-led group that plans to build a casino on Russell Street in Baltimore.

The committee also received $100,000 from a group called “W. Hackerman Special,” which lists its address as 300 East Joppa Road in Towson — the same address as Whiting Turner Contracting Co. Willard Hackerman is president and CEO of the company. Hackerman was not immediately available to confirm his involvement in the contribution.

CBAC Gaming picked Whiting Turner to build its $400 million Harrah’s Baltimore casino, which could become a more-expensive Horseshoe Casino if Question 7 is approved by voters and table games such as poker and roulette are legalized.

Approval of Question 7 would also authorize the construction of a casino in Prince George’s County, most likely at the National Harbor development on the Potomac River.

Forward Maryland’s treasurer is Isaac Salazar, the former new media director for the Maryland Democratic Party.