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Cordish: Pennsylvania casino industry is ‘terrific’

David S. Cordish put on quite the show at his Maryland Live Casino Wednesday — but the show may be even better in Pennsylvania.

While responding to a question about where Maryland stands in the mid-Atlantic casino industry, Cordish said “Pennsylvania has crushed it.”

“They’ve done a terrific job there,” he said. “Do you know how? With stability in the law.”

Cordish complained this summer that Gov. Martin O’Malley and the General Assembly should not expand the state’s casino gambling offerings until the five, slots-only facilities authorized in 2008 were up and running.

He often said Maryland, if it expanded gambling, would become the only state to change its casino regulations before its original plan was fully implemented.

Nevertheless, the legislature passed a bill in an August special session that authorized the licensing of a Prince George’s County casino and legalization of table games, such as blackjack and roulette. Voters approved that plan last week.

Pennsylvania has authorized the licensing of 12 casinos, 11 of which have opened. Cordish, who chairs The Cordish Cos., has bid on the 12th license in a joint venture with Pennsylvania-based Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc.

Stability in the law governing the casino industry encourages investment by developers, Cordish said. O’Malley has said he would like the legislature to leave the casino industry alone for the remainder of his term.

Three more facilities — in Allegany County, Prince George’s County and Baltimore — are set to open between now and 2016, according to their developers. That’s too far away to project how mighty Maryland’s casino industry might become.

“Forecasting is virtually impossible,” he said.

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