Bill Would Expand Slots to BWI/Marshall

February 9, 2011  |  

(Washington Business Journal) — Maryland lawmakers are making a third push to legalize slot machine gambling at BWI/Marshall Airport.  Del. Eric Bromwell, a Baltimore County Democrat who represents the Parkville area, has introduced a pair of bills in the House for the third year in a row. One would amend the state constitution to add BWI as a legal slots site, and the other would allow 2,500 slot machines at the airport.  But while the proposal didn’t make it to the floor of the House in 2010, this year, there are also companion bills in the Senate. Sen. Kathy Klausmeier, a Democrat from the same district as Bromwell, is the lead sponsor on those bills.  Bromwell is pushing for extra slots as a way to avoid some tax increases being discussed. He argues revenue generated from slots at BWI must go to transportation funding under federal law. Transportation is facing a cut of $60 million by Gov. Martin O’Malley, and some lawmakers are seeking to replace that money, potentially through an increase in the gas tax.  “When Maryland voters approved legalizing slot machines in the state, they sent a message loud and clear that slot revenues were preferable to tax and fee increases,” Bromwell said in a statement. “I believe that this is as true today as it was then.”

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