Maryland’s incursion into the world of legalized gambling is likely to bring the state millions of dollars in tax revenues, but industry experts predict the decision to allow table games will continue a decades-long tradition of states cannibalizing one another’s markets for personal gain.
When Florida’s pro-gambling groups launched a series of advertisements pushing voters to allow slot machines in 2004, they claimed gambling would rake in $500 million for state schools annually. In reality, those slot machines have generated roughly $600 million in total for the state over six years — only 20 percent of what was promised.
Though bus tours to Atlantic City have seen a decline since Maryland’s casinos opened, some gamblers say it doesn’t matter how many casinos are built here. Their trips to Atlantic City are less about the bets and more about the escape.
With Delaware already offering legalized sports gambling, and New Jersey planning to follow suit to stay competitive in the gambling-saturated northeast corridor, could Maryland soon join its neighbors and permit sports wagers?
With the passage of Question 7 in Maryland expanding gambling in the state, addiction experts say they are concerned about a likely increase in the number of people who will seek treatment for gambling problems.
Many National Harbor business owners there say a casino would make the area a more attractive destination, which will in turn bring them more business.
Now that the state’s voters have approved adding table games to Maryland’s slots facilities, the largest gambling operation in the state is gearing up to expand and add hundreds of jobs.