ANNAPOLIS - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on Wednesday morning signed legislation that would expand gambling to include table games in the state and a Prince George's County casino.
The governor was joined by House Speaker Michael Busch, D-Anne Arundel, and Sen. Rob Garagiola, D-Montgomery, to sign the bill into law less than 10 hours after the General Assembly passed the bill in a special session that lasted until nearly 12:30 a.m.
Garagiola was there to fill in for Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Calvert and Prince George's, who was attending to a family matter.
O'Malley described the bill he proposed to lawmakers as a compromise, one that adds a Prince George's casino and table games to the state's gambling market while adding 2,300 jobs and drawing an additional $200 million to the state's education trust fund by fiscal 2019.
"It is a fair compromise to put forth to Marylanders, who will ultimately have the final say at the ballot in Novembers," he said.
Voters statewide must approve the gambling plan for it to move forward. And voters in Prince George's County will have the final say over whether to allow a casino in their jurisdiction that could be located at National Harbor or Rosecroft Raceway.
County Executive Rushern Baker said Wednesday he's confident voters in Prince George's will approve the plan, and pledged to throw his full support behind plans to build a resort casino at National Harbor, on the Potomac River in Oxon Hill.
The developer of National Harbor, the Peterson Cos., has reached an agreement with MGM Resorts International to build a resort casino at the site, one that could bring as much as $800 million in investments to southern Prince George's.