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Penn National adds $5 million to Maryland

Penn National GamingRobert L. Ehrlich Jr.

Penn National Gaming added $5 million to a ballot committee opposing gambling expansion, the latest seven-figure check to be written on behalf of Question 7.

The new figure means that Penn has spent $18 million on defeating a measure to add a sixth casino in Maryland and table games at all casino. The total spending on both sides is now at $32 million -- and if this pace continues the gambling expansion measure will become the most expensive campaign in Maryland history.

(At the moment, the honor goes to the 2006 gubernatorial campaign where Martin O'Malley and Robert L. Ehrlich Jr spent $34 million pummeling each other on the airwaves.)

There's every reason to believe that Penn, at least, will continue opening its wallet. The company spent $37.9 million in 2008 trying to defeat a gambling expansion measure in Ohio and succeeded. (That race cost a total of $60.8 million.)

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