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MGM pours another $3 million into Maryland

MGM Resorts International put another $3 million into a campaign to expand gambling in Maryland, bringing their total to $8.3 million.

The new check means $19.4 million  been raised -- almost entirely from gambling companies -- to influence Marylanders who will vote in November on a ballot measure to expand gambling. The amount exceeds the $17 million spent by both sides in the 2010 gubernatorial race.

The gambling measure, passed during a heavily lobbied August special session, would add  a sixth casino in Maryland and allow table games like poker at all of them.

The Las Vegas-based MGM hopes to build the new casino, which would go in Prince George’s County and focus on the lucrative Washington, D.C. gamblers. MGM also launched a new ad campaign today aimed at painting the main opponent of gambling, Penn National, as a company that is only interested in protecting the market for its profitable West Virginia casino.

Penn has put $9.5 million into a campaign to keep the state’s gambling program unchanged. They also launched a new ad campaign this week. It highlights editorials from the Baltimore Sun and the Annapolis Capital opposing gambling expansion.

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