Voting "Yes" on Question 7 to legalize table games such as poker in a few well-chosen casinos will be doing a favor for all residents of Maryland. Gov. Martin O'Malley has promised publicly on television that tax proceeds from such games will be spent to improve education in Maryland — a promise he must keep or ruin his political career. Heavy advertising which opposes Question 7 is financed not by those interested in the quality of Maryland schools, but from casinos in neighboring states that want all the money for themselves.
Gambling on card games will go on whether Question 7 passes or not. The issue is whether or not Maryland will benefit from taxes on these games instead of neighboring states to which Maryland residents have to drive a considerable distance — wasting time, risking accidents, and contributing to air pollution and global warming.
Furthermore, concern about creating a gambling addiction problem is overblown. Anyone addicted to gambling can already play the lottery, go to the horse races, play poker in people's houses, bet on sports, travel to out-of-town casinos, etc.
Table games should be permitted in Maryland where they can be regulated and taxed for the benefit of all Marylanders.
Allen R. Bernstein, BowieCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun