Governor makes ad for casino proponents

October 18, 2012|By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun

Gov. Martin O'Malley has made a television ad in support of the gambling expansion plan he sponsored during a General Assembly session this summer, assuring viewers that the money raised will go to education.

Opponents financed by Penn National Gaming have been hammering home a message that the hundreds of millions of dollars expected from allowing table games and a new Prince George's County casino will not necessarily be used for the purposes outlined in the expansion plan.

O'Malley, who once said he was "so sick" of dealing with the gambling issue, recently expressed anger at Penn National over its questioning of Maryland's commitment to use the money for schools.

In the new ad for the pro-Question 7 ballot committeee largely financed by MGM Resorts International, O'Malley says flatly that expanded gambling will bring hundreds of millions of dollars into Maryland schools.

"As governor, I can promise you that money will go to education. That's the law, and that's what we'll do," he said.

The governor repeats the by-now-familiar theme that Marylanders are now spending $550 million on gambling in nearby states. O'Malley said Question 7 would keep that money in Maryland.

According to proponents, the ad is on the air in both Washington and Baltimore. It can also be seen on the pro-Question 7 web site.

Penn National owns a Charles Town, W. Va., casino whose profits could be diminished by a new casino in Prince George's. MGM is the prospective operator of a casino  at National Harbor, considered the most likely site for a casino in that county.

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