Caesars says O'Malley's gambling bill is 'fair'

Caesars Entertainment, which just won the right to build a 3,750-slot machine casino in Baltimore, called the governor's gambling bill "well thought-out."

In a statement, Caesars CEO Gary Loveman commended House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Gov. Martin O'Malley for their "tireless efforts to craft a fair and well thought-out bill." The proposed legislation, he said, will address "the economic imperatives key to the success of casino entertainment in Maryland."

The legislation allows Caesars to offer table games -- a key change that the company had sought.

The Peterson Companies and MGM Resorts International sent out a joint statement saying the two companies are "very grateful" for the work by O'Malley and legislative leaders to "bring new jobs and revenue to Maryland in the form of destination gambling."

Not all gambling companies offered praise for the bill. The Cordish Companies, which operate the state's largest casino at the Arundel Mills mall, said the bill is "patently unfair."

Eric Schippers, a spokesman for Penn National, which owns a casino in Perryville, said the company is "still reviewing" the legislation. They are "concerned" that the governor's bill creates an "uneven playing field" for their casino -- which would have the highest tax rate in the state at 61 percent. 

"We were surprised that Perryville was the only casino to not be offered the tax break," Schippers wrote.

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