Maryland Legislators Contemplating Changes To Slots Laws

November 14th, 2010-  By Glen Farmer

The laws pertaining to slots in Maryland could change, according to legislators. State officials will soon be considering changes in the laws as bidders are beginning to aim for licenses in the western part of the state and Baltimore.

According to Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., the state’s Senate President, several parts of the slots program will be discussed when the Assembly comes together in January. Regulations could change, which would allow casino owners to hold more than one license in the state, and that the tax rate could be reduced.

Slots have been valid in the state since 2008. The state had anticipated $1.5 billion annually in tax revenue, but not until all of the casino’s five approved sites had begun to operate. Licensing requirements have stalled other casinos from launching.

The staunch rules regarding opening a casino in the state have kept some developers from shying away from the state. The enormous tax ratio of 67 percent has also contributed to keeping competitors from attempting to open a casino in the state.

A constitutional amendment is how slots were made legal in the state, voted in by constituents, and voter approval will be required in order to change the state’s constitution.

Tax breaks could also be introduced in order to entice bidders into the state to develop casinos.

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