MGM Resorts International has kicked in another $3 million for its effort to win passage of Maryland's gambling expansion referendum as the money meter in this duel of the casinos shot past $40 million.
With MGM's newest contribution, posted at the State Board of Elections Thursday, the total contributed by the company and its allies now amounts to $22 million -- of which $17.8 million has been spent.
That puts MGM and its allies -- Caesars Entertainment and Peterson Cos. -- roughly at parity with rival Penn National Gaming. Penn National has put aside $21.6 million and spent $18 milllion, according to its latest filing, posted Tuesday.
With more than three weeks to go before the election, the casino battle earlier this week shattered the previous record for total political spending on a Maryland campaign -- $34 million in the 2006 gubernatorial race between Martin O'Malley and Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
If Question 7 passes, Maryland will get a sixth casino, to be located in Prince George's County, and table games will be permitted wherever slots are licensed.