The Baltimore Sun’s recent editorial (“The fine print in Maryland’s gambling expansion bites us again,” Dec. 18) paints a misleading picture of the benefits Maryland casinos provide to the state’s taxpayers and students.
Maryland’s six commercial casinos generate $3 billion a year in economic activity, support the jobs of more than 15,000 people and produce nearly a billion dollars in tax revenue, enough to fund the equivalent of 21,500 new teachers’ salaries.
The Sun implies that lower casino taxes will have a negative effect on education funding in Maryland, but nothing could be further from the truth. Per Maryland law, the money freed up by lower tax rates must be used on marketing or capital improvements, both of which will draw additional visitors to Maryland casinos, in turn generating more tax revenue for the state’s schools.
With gaming expansion driven by sports betting being implemented in Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, and discussed in Virginia, Maryland is right to pursue competitive tax rates for its own casinos.
Casey Clark, Washington
The writer is vice president of strategic communications for the American Gaming Association.