No gambling special session yet in Maryland

Local,Maryland,Ben Giles

ANNAPOLIS -- Maryland lawmakers won’t return to Annapolis on Monday for a special session on gambling, according to a spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O’Malley.

The governor had set July 9 as the date he intended to bring the state legislature together to settle gambling issues that have divided the House and Senate this year. Lawmakers are considering an expansion of gambling that would authorize a sixth state casino, in Prince George’s County, and allow table games such as blackjack and roulette at all casinos.

Members of the House of Delegates serving on O’Malley’s gambling commission split from the state Senate and the governor’s own staff on the issues of authorizing the Prince George’s County casino and measures that would lower the state’s tax on slot revenues.

The governor hasn't given up his efforts to reach a compromise between the House and Senate, but more time is needed to reach a consensus, spokeswoman Raquel Guillory said in an email.

Any measure to expand gambling in Maryland must be approved by voters during the November election.

Lawmakers have until mid-August to pass a referendum bill to give state officials enough time to place the measures on the ballot.

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