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Letter: Casinos are not the answer to state's budget woes

Letter to the editor

4:50 PM EDT, October 26, 2012

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Two years ago, our community had a stake in ballot Question A, which decided whether or not to approve the casino at Arundel Mills. Had Question A been defeated, owners of Laurel Park would revive their failed bid to put the casino there. Now that the Live casino is up and running at Arundel Mills, however, voters are being asked to approve a sixth casino in Prince Georges County, even though not all of the original five casino sites, as mandated in slots bill from 2008, are yet operational.

It disturbs me to hear prominent Democrats like the governor stumping for Question 7, which allows the sixth casino in Prince George's, allows table games at all locations and decreases the amount of state taxes casino owners in Maryland will have to pay. The General Assembly has just raised income taxes on Maryland residents; why must they offer a break to casino owners, and why must they build another casino every time they need to address a budget shortfall?

There is mention of backroom deals, and loopholes that will not benefit education in Question 7, even though "education" is their biggest selling point. But most of all we need to remember that Maryland is not West Virginia. Increasing the number of casinos in the state affects its culture, not just the tax base. Let's tell Sen. Miller and his pro-gambling friends in Annapolis: Enough already. Let's vote NO on Question 7.

Marjorie Schulenburg

Laurel