ANNAPOLIS – It’s no gamble. Gov. Parris N. Glendening said Thursday he will veto any bill this year that would expand legalize gambling in Maryland.
“I will not sign any bill passed by the legislature this session that legalizes gambling in Maryland,” Glendening said. “Any bill that crosses my desk that legalizes gambling will, in fact, be vetoed.”
To date, 29 bills to expand legalized gambling float in the General Assembly’s hopper.
Glendening said he decided further examination of gambling was necessary after he saw a list of lobbyists representing out- of-state developers who want to build casinos in Maryland.
“We should not allow outside influences to push us into making hasty policy,” he said.
After discussing the issue with House Speaker Casper R. Taylor, D-Allegany, and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Prince George’s, Glendening decided he wanted an independent, comprehensive gambling study before taking any further steps.
“The temptations of gambling are great,” he said. “But my position is clear. We cannot afford to gamble with Maryland’s future.”
The governor said a study should address:
* What forms of gambling would be allowed.
* Where would gambling be located.
* What impact extended gambling would make on crime.
* How gambling would affect the horse racing industry and quality of life.
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran said he agrees with Glendening’s position: “Slowing down is a great idea.”
If gambling should be increased at all, Curran said, “it should be done slowly and methodically.” -30-