Maryland senate passes gaming bill

Photo: Flickr/John Morgan

The Maryland Senate approved legislation Friday night to allow table games at existing Maryland casinos and pave the way for a sixth gaming facility in Prince George's County.

Day two of an already contentious special session on gambling turned into a war of words, as fiery debate echoed in Annapolis throughout the day.

Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration submitted the bill to raise more revenue for the state and create jobs.

The O'Malley administration says the proposed changes would generate more than $200 million annually for the state, once all the changes are implemented.

Swift passage was expected in the Senate, which passed a bill earlier this year to expand gambling.

The measure stalled in the House of Delegates, the tougher chamber for gambling legislation.

A House committee held a hearing on the governor's measure Friday.

The gambling measure would allow a casino in Prince George's County, which would not open until 2016..

A key part of the bill cuts Maryland's 67 percent tax rate on casinos to varying degrees.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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