Mayor Rawlings-Blake Expresses Support For Question 7

| October 11, 2012 | 0 Comments
October 11, 2012

Mayor Rawlings-Blake Expresses Support For Expanded Gaming In Baltimore

BALTIMORE, MD. (October 11, 2012) – Today, in an op-ed piece in the Baltimore Sun, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake urged residents to support Question 7, which allows table games at casinos in the state. Mayor Rawlings-Blake outlined the positive economic impact of adding table games to the world-class casino that will be built along Russell Street next year, including hundreds of new jobs, millions for the state Education Trust Fund, and tax relief for Baltimore homeowners. The Mayor also criticized out-of-state interests for misleading negative advertising in opposition to the ballot initiative.
Mayor Rawlings-Blake contended that if approved, Question 7 “offers particularly significant opportunities for jobs, revenues, and schools.” Table games would allow for a larger facility to be built along Russell Street, which would create 500 jobs on top of the 2,000 construction jobs and 1,200 casino jobs already planned. The addition of table games would also ensure an increase of $199 million toward the state Education Trust Fund, which provides significant support to Baltimore City Schools. Finally, approving Question 7 would increase funding for renovation and construction of Baltimore City schools and the operation of City recreation centers.
“When we go to the polls, Question 7 offers us chance to fix Maryland’s gaming program, create jobs, and fund education all at once,” writes Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “This is a real opportunity for Baltimore to boost our tourism business and ultimately generate more revenues for classrooms, school construction and recreation centers.”
The mayor stated that Question 7 “will strengthen our public schools, our neighborhoods, and our local economy—all helping to get Baltimore growing again.”
Mayor Rawlings-Blake also noted the well-funded opposition to Question 7. Television, radio, and mail advertising has been funded largely by a company that owns a casino in West Virginia. Fearing the loss of revenue from larger, more robust casinos in Maryland, the company has paid for as much as $40 million in negative advertising. “This company knows that if casinos in Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County, and Prince George’s County are blocked from offering basic table games, Marylanders will keep visiting its West Virginia casino and keep sending hundreds of millions of our dollars to West Virginia to pay for West Virginia’s schools and to keep West Virginians’ taxes low,” she added.
“Question 7 presents us all with a stark choice,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake concluded. “Vote in favor of growing jobs and building better educational opportunities at home, or vote to continue funding surrounding states like West Virginia with our entertainment dollars. Let’s make it happen and keep Maryland’s money in Maryland. It is that simple.”
To read the full op-ed in the Baltimore Sun, visit here.
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