Groups Spent $35 per Vote in Expanded Gambling Battle

Mayland voters narrowly approved Question 7 last week, but not before a lot of money was spent.


Groups with a stake in Maryland's referendum on expanded gambling spent more than $35 a vote during the 2012 campaign, according to an analysis by WTOP.

Unofficial results from the Maryland Board of Elections show that 2,479,262 people cast a vote on Question 7, which asked residents whether they favored the introduction of table games to the state and the addition of a sixth casino in Prince George's County.

The measure narrowly passed in the state by a margin of 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent. But before the matter was decided, opponents and supporters undertook enormous advertising efforts to sway voters.

In Howard County, residents voted down the measureby a narrow margin. About 77,000 voters or 56 percent voted against Question 7 in the county, while about 69,500 or 47 percent supported expanded gambling.

Casino operators that stood to benefit—including MGM Resorts International, CBAC Gaming LLC, and The Peterson Companies—were pitted against casinos in neighboring states, particularly Penn National Gaming's Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.

Question 7 was just one of several expensive, down-ticket races in the region. The senate campaign in neighboring Virginia saw spending to the tune of $20 a vote, the station found.

Read the full story from WTOP.

Maia November 13, 2012 at 07:02 PM
It is a shame that the groups against question 7 did not get the message out earlier. At the beginning of the campaign cycle, I only saw pro-7 ads. The against ads came out eventually, but I don't think they did a good job explaining why this would be bad for us, including any funds going to education from these casinos are funds that get cut from the education budget, so there is no new revenue for the schools to use. The large tax breaks to these casino owners were also not made very public. I am gad to see that Howard County residents educated themselves on the facts before voting. It's a shame the rest of the state didn't do the same. Here's hoping that the MD government weill ensure that the area stays safe and does not become a run-down pit like Atlantic City.
ly November 14, 2012 at 08:50 AM
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