FREDERICK, MD - The election is less than a month away, and Maryland voters will have a lot of choices to make on the ballot.
WHAG shows us both sides have to say about question 7 to expand gambling in the state in part one of our five-part series.
Another casino could wind up in Maryland if voters give it the green light on November's ballot. Many state lawmakers are already behind the idea.
"The reason I support it is because we need to be competitive. It creates another venue at the National Harbor. This would be a destination venue. It allows us to have table games. It gives us a 24-hour operational window," said Del. Galen Clagett, (D) - Frederick County.
Clagett may be ready to shuffle the cards on question 7, but Delegate Patrick Hogan isn't ready to ante up because he says the state would be breaking a promise to the existing casinos.
"They would have a certain number of years to invest a lot of money first of all, get operational, and have an attempt to have a successful casino," said Hogan, (R) - Frederick County.
Both sides tell a different story about how much of the revenue would go to education, a major selling point of expanding gambling.
"In this case, of the $700 million dollars we're going to get, the estimate $700 million dollars that we're going to get, schools only get about $150 to $200 million of that money," Hogan said. "It's not even guaranteed to go to education. Just like anything else, it could be directed to the general fund and be spent on something else."
"They're not telling the truth. There's money for education, and the table games will help the state become more competitive. There's no question about that, so for me, it's a no brainer," Clagett said.
In addition to the table games, question seven would allow Maryland's sixth casino at the National Harbor site.
This is an issue voters will make the final call on when they fold or go all in on the ballot.
Tuesday in part two of of the five-part series, we'll look at the same-sex marriage referendum.
Question 7 will read on Maryland's ballot:
Gaming Expansion Referendum
(Ch. 1 of the Second 2012 Special Session)
Do you favor the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education to authorize video lottery operation licensees to operate "table games" as defined by law; to increase from 15,000 to 16,500 the maximum number of video lottery terminals that may be operated in the State; and to increase from 5 to 6 the maximum number of video lottery operation licenses that may be awarded in the State and allow a video lottery facility to operate in Prince George's County?
For the Additional Forms and Expansion of Commercial Gaming
Against the Additional Forms and Expansion of Commercial Gaming