HOW do editorialists in other parts of Maryland feel about the legalization of casino gambling? Here's one opinion, from the July 26 edition of the Montgomery Journal:
"The state is heading down a road to future problems if lawmakers open the door to casino gambling in Maryland. We worry that average people are not going to make their anti-gambling views known during the three remaining state hearings being held on the issue.
"Lawmakers and the governor, absent the views of voters and ordinary families, could be left with the impression that the primary opposition to casino gambling comes from existing entertainment and tourism businesses, thoroughbred racing representatives and restaurateurs who worry casinos will cut into their revenues.
"The views of such businesses are legitimate, but the input on casino gambling must be provided by people living and paying taxes in Maryland who worry about the impact of gambling on future generations.
"At the first of four state hearings on casino gambling in Talbot County [recently], 200 people attended a four-hour meeting, with 40 opponents speaking against legalizing gambling and 13 speaking in support. . . Of the opponents, many were representatives of horse racing and tourism.
"It's bad enough to visit a Keno parlor in downtown Wheaton or even in some up-county bars where it is not unusual to find people drinking alone and continually gambling for hours at a time. To say they have the right to do so misses the point: Why does state government or society want to condone such activity when taxpayers spend millions for education and welfare?
"We don't mean to sound like a Victorian gent telling people how to live. Our point is that there is already Atlantic City's large casino gambling strip within a bus ride's distance, and the economic benefits for casino gambling in Maryland are dubious, at best. From the state tourism standpoint, we have beauty, charm and history to sell, so why bother with grubby gambling?
"If you worry that gambling already has too much of a foothold in Maryland, you might want to state your views on casinos at the remaining hearings."