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Expanded Gaming Passes, Pit Bull Legislation Dies

Senate adopts gaming bill amended by the House but ends the session without bringing dog bite litigation bill to the floor for a vote.

Maryland voters can add expanded gaming to the list of referendum issues they'll be asked to vote on in November.

The Senate early Wednesday morning voted 32-14 to accept a gaming bill amended hours earlier by the House of Delegates.

But a bill meant to overturn a controversial Court of Appeals ruling that declared pit bulls an inherently dangerous dog breed failed after Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said the House gave senators a "take it or leave it" ultimatum.

"The House said take our amendments or nothing and the two committees weren't able to work out an agreement," said Miller.

The Senate was able to reach a separate peace on the gaming bill where senators quickly agreed to all of the amendments delegates put on the bill Tuesday night.

The biggest of those late amendments was a provision to allow so-called pull tab bingo machines in VFW and other veterans clubs around the state.

House Minority Leader Tony O'Donnell said the provision, which has been routinely rejected by legislators in the past, was the price House Speaker Michael Busch was willing to pay in order to get the 71 votes he needed to pass the bill.

Busch called O'Donnell's comments "an assumption."

Del. Joseph "Sonny" Minnick, a Dundalk Democrat and sponsor of the amendment, denied that there was a quid pro quo and said his amendment was about protecting veterans clubs around the state that are suffering from poor finances due to declining membership.

The House bill also included provisions to provide up to an 8 percent offset to Maryland Live casino and an additional 6 percent in revenues to an as yet unbuilt city casino location.

Voters must approve the expansion of gaming to a sixth location in the area that include both National Harbor and Rosecroft Raceway. A majority of Prince George's County voters are required to vote in favor of a site in their county—something they rejected in 2008.

If approved, a Prince George's County location cannot open before July 1, 2016 or 30 months following the opening of the city location, whichever comes first.

Miller predicted a battle would be waged by opponents and proponents of the Prince George's County site.

"These ads you see about Romney and Barack Obama, they're going to be dwarfed," said Miller. "They're absolutely going to be dwarfed in the Washington media market by MGM and Penn National. It's going to be a television war. It's going to be police involved, the firefighters involved, the school teachers involved. it's going to be hand-to-hand combat. In terms of whether or not the people of Maryland will continue to go to West Virginia or keep the money at home and play these machines."

HappieGrannie August 16, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Not against table games (BTW DE and WV are closer and have table games) most of us are against another casino since not all the others are even up and running
Sean Tully August 16, 2012 at 02:59 PM
I disagree. That's the beauty of the new law. Make the landlords responsible and you will see less pit bulls in rental units. The problem with many rental units in this area (B - City and B - County) are the irresponsible tenants. If the landlords are held accountable, maybe they will keep a closer watch on who they rent to. Some tips for landlords: don't rent to people with dogs. Dogs in the hands of irresponsible people are a pain in the neck and when those dogs are pit bulls, they can be literally a real pain in the neck (and other extremities).
Sean Tully August 16, 2012 at 03:02 PM
News from Harford County yesterday: "Deputy shoots pit bull attacking child" http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/news/region/harford_county/deputy-shoots-pit-bull-attacking-child Sorry, folks, but other dogs just don't attack people as much as pits do.
Joe August 16, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Owe'Malley raises taxes on Maryland millionaires making $100,000 but LOWERS the taxes of the wealthy owners of slots parlors. That is looking out for the little guy.
Joe August 16, 2012 at 03:06 PM
i am not against table games, i am against the lies we were told about the FIRST law. We were told one thing then they change the rules the taxes and the number of casinos. Why the hell should I believe anything they tell me now?
HappieGrannie August 16, 2012 at 03:07 PM
NO pits are NOT the problem the problem are the owners and they should be held accountable. I used to be a paramedic and worked in hospitals and have seen people mauled by just as badly by Dobermans, Rottweilers and German Shepards. Not to mention the maulings done by St. Bernards and other large breeds. The owners need to be held accountable for their dogs. People have to learn there are consequences for not controlling their dogs. Do you know how many pits are going to have to be put down through no fault of their own other then they are Pits. Too many for my liking and if I had the ability I would take them all in and give them the life they deserve. Even the most abused Pit in Mike Vicks kennel was saved and is an AWESOME ambassador for the breed. This just proves it is not the breed but the owner that is the problem
Sean Tully August 16, 2012 at 03:11 PM
At least the rich casino owners are generating cash and jobs in Maryland. Many rich people these days take their capital gains and hide them overseas (ala' Mitt R.).
Sean Tully August 16, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Look, insurance companies discriminate between clients all the time. If you live in the city, your auto insurance rates will be much higher than if you live in Carroll County. Why should I pay more just because I live in the city? I drive good. Insurance companies are starting to charge more to cover smokers. Why? I smoke about a half pack a day and I hardly inhale. Why should I pay the same rate as a five pack a day smoker? Same goes with pit bulls.
Sean Tully August 16, 2012 at 03:20 PM
What I find so ironic is that many of the "good" pit bull owners posting on the Patch who are so up in arms about their dogs being singled out as potentially dangerous even though they haven't actually committed a dog crime (biting, etc.) are the very same people who have no trouble with the Arizona bill that allows police to stop and request papers from anyone they believe looks like an "illegal immigrant". I mean, really, are all brown skinned people illegal?
Dean Smith August 16, 2012 at 03:24 PM
This is the way I see it. The casino owners are rich, knowledgeable in their game, and are motivated and determined to expand their riches/gambling operations at the expense of Maryland taxpayers. Meanwhile, Maryland State Government is poor, weak, unknowledgeable when it comes to gambling (as well as other areas which they suppose to be good in), and are vulnerable to casino owners at the expense of Maryland taxpayers. Currently, in addition to National Harbor, at least Harford and Charles Counties want casinos because of their dire financial situations. Because there are other counties in this state whose financial situation is dire, I’m sure they are thinking about pursing casinos. I expect casino owners to not care about Maryland Taxpayers because their job is to primarily make money. However, we elected our state officials to respond to our interests/needs and they have dropped the ball, especially when it comes to gambling big time. That’s why I feel the ones who voted for this bill need to pay by getting elected out of office before all of this really gets out of hand because right now, Maryland Taxpayers are suffering in all fronts!!
Joe August 16, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Romney spends plenty in America and the democrat wining about his big house with a car elevator is an example. I bet the contractor for that elevator and the tile supplier and installer fo the tile floor are happy Mitt has money. Why do you hate those3 with more than you? do you work for a poor person?
Joe August 16, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Oh, and Romeny is responsible for more jobs than the few casino owners here in md are.
Donna Macauley August 16, 2012 at 03:30 PM
How the heck does anyone know what others post about other topics? how does anyone know they are the "same people?"
Sean Tully August 16, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Donna, call it a hunch. Maybe I should have said "probably the very same people...". Point well taken.
Sean Tully August 16, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Dean, how is expanding the gaming in Maryland at the expense of the taxpayers? I'd say even if gambling brings in one red cent to the state that wasn't there before, that is some kind of benefit, no?
HappieGrannie August 16, 2012 at 03:37 PM
The breed is popular and a status symbol for alot of folks. This pit had been abandoned by it's owners and who knows how it was treated or if the dog was hurt or hungry or abused by local kids. So many questions and not enough answers. Again it was the OWNERS fault and not just the Pit. As for your last statement about 20 years ago it was Dobies and Rotties that were attacking folks and before that there was a rash of St. Bernard attacks. Those owners where held accountable for their dogs and that is how it should be
Joe August 16, 2012 at 03:40 PM
You sure know how to conflate completely different issues.
Joe August 16, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Maybe you should have said "those people all look alike and eat fried chicken"! There is no difference.
Dean Smith August 16, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Hey Sean!! I understand what you are stating. However, I wish it was as simple as what gambling brings in terms of money from slots. First, in focusing on the amendments (which Cordish wrote due to his complaints from potentially increased competition), casinos will be operating 24 hours/day. Since there are numerous people (including myself) who live in the Arundel Mills area, we would definitely be negatively affected by this rule. Second, I’m pretty confident whatever funds casinos generate won’t go to areas where government officials have been stating (this is based on how funds from other sources such as the lottery has been handled). Third, in addition of what I mentioned about 24/day operations, casinos I believe bring in social ills (increase crime, addictions, etc.) which haven’t been mentioned by any of the state legislatures. Fourth, while Maryland taxpayers are paying for the slot machines (which based on a Peter Franchot article in the Washington Post, we won’t get back because existing casinos are not generating enough money), casinos are getting tax break due to so-called increase competition of National Harbor while we as Maryland Tax Payers are paying more taxes. . I don’t gamble and don’t ever plan to gamble. I’m just stating that the whole process has been mishandled from the start and the blame starts at the top with O’Malley and the rest of the leaders of Maryland Government.
hawkeye August 16, 2012 at 10:38 PM
@Ronald - you are so naive…21 is all Democrats and from PG County…..why wouldn't they vote for the casino? Gotta learn your politics….
hawkeye August 16, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Here are the Republicans who voted for the gaming bill: Senators: David Brinkley, Richard Colburn, George Edwards, Barry Glassman, Joseph Getty J.B. Jennings, Christopher Shank Delegates: Wendell Beitzel,Robert Costa, Rick Impallaria, Mike McDermott, LeRoy Myers
Go Ravens August 17, 2012 at 03:37 AM
And in today's news a wild pit bull took FOUR shotgun blasts and kept charging at a police officer to maul him. A tea cup poodle isnt taking four shot gun blasts and then a shot from a 9mm to put him down if he goes nuts, You pit bull owners have more dangerous breed, step up and buy insurance if you want a pit bull, your dog bites even 1 person you should go to jail and your dog should be put down
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Hazzard Native August 27, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Hollywood Casino at Perryville, the first slots parlor opened in the state, has been open for almost 2 years now and it showed a 44% drop the first month Arundel Mills was opened. How do these Annapolis jokers suppose a huge casinos in Baltimore will impact Perryville and Arundel Mills, and how do they figure throwing National Harbor in there will impact Arundel Mills and Baltimore? The market will not be sustained. The operators are already claiming losses. WAKE THE HELL UP ANNAPOLITICIANS!
Tim Lemke (Editor) August 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM
A comment from gangstaboo44 has been deleted because it contained profanity in violation of Patch's Terms of Use.
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