ANNAPOLIS - Gov. Martin O'Malley's bill to expand gambling in Maryland easily passed a state Senate vote Friday evening.
Senators quickly voted 28-14 in favor of the bill after spending most of the afternoon hours debating dozens of proposed amendments to the gambling plan, which authorizes a sixth state casino for Prince George's County, adds table games to existing casino sites, and changes tax rates on slots for individual casino operators.
The fate of the gambling plan now rests in the House, where delegates held a hearing on the governor's legislation as the Senate took action late Friday.
An effort to pass gambling bills in the House failed during the regular 90-day session earlier this year, but both O'Malley and House Speaker Michael Busch, D-Anne Arundel, have indicated that enough votes have been secured among delegates to move the bill to the governor's desk.
Members of the House Ways and Means Committee are expected to work on the legislation Saturday, but aren't expected to vote on the bill until next week.
Any expansion of gambling will be voted on by Marylanders on the November ballot. The measure allowing a Prince George's casino site must be approved by both a majority of voters statewide and a majority of voters in the county.