Maryland Ballot Question 7 - how will it affect the MD horse industry?
Quite a number of Marylanders have been asking about the impact of Ballot Question 7 on the horse industry. Ballot question 7 asks "Do you favor the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education to authorize video lottery operation licensees to operate “table games” as defined by law; to increase from 15,000 to 16,500 the maximum number of video lottery terminals that may be operated in the State; and to increase from 5 to 6 the maximum number of video lottery operation licenses that may be awarded in the State and allow a video lottery facility to operate in Prince George’s County?"
Folks want to know what the impact of a yes or no vote will be. The short answer is "not much." The 70 page Senate Bill 1, which was enacted during the special legislative session last summer, does contain some revisions to the amount and timing of video lottery (slots) proceeds to the racetracks. But it appears that those provisions are included in sections of the bill that are not subject to the referendum. Of course, the overall amounts of those proceeds will likely be affected (in hard to predict ways) by changes in the number and location of slots facilities that are subject to the referendum. The legislation does not appear to provide for distribution of any of the proceeds of table gaming to the tracks. Knowledgeable sources inside the racing industry say that the outcome of the referendum will not affect the horse industry much either way. If you'd like to spend a lazy afternoon reading Senate Bill 1, click here.