House passes bill allowing nonprofits to hold casino nights in Prince George's

March 25, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The House of Delegates passed a bill expanding gambling last night - but not the one Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is hoping for.

The House, whose speaker, Michael E. Busch, has said he would bottle up Ehrlich's bill to allow slot machines at racetracks, approved local legislation restoring "casino nights" run by Prince George's County volunteer fire companies and other nonprofit groups. The legislation, which now goes to the Senate, would revive a county tradition that ended two years ago after several scandals.

The vote on the bill, which would permit organizations to run card games and roulette up to four times a month, was 94-16. Busch, a slots opponent, was among those voting yes, explaining that he did so in deference to the wishes of Prince George's legislators.

Advocates said the bill would impose tighter regulation.

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