Despite campaign promises, casinos, not schools, big winners from MD gambling
By Megan Brockett | Maryland Reporter
Gov. Martin O’Malley looked into the camera in 2012 and told his audience that expanded casino gambling would mean “hundreds of millions of dollars for our schools.”
That 2012 referendum on gambling had propelled Maryland’s schools into the spotlight of a multimillion-dollar campaign where supporters touted the message that more gambling would be a win for education.
But the measure, approved by voters that fall, has actually worked to send more money to the casino companies in fiscal year 2014 than to the education fund that was established when the state first legalized casino gambling in 2008.
The 2008 law set up an Education Trust Fund to receive the lion’s share of gambling revenues from slots at five new casinos: About half of the slots revenue went directly to the education fund and an additional 18.5 percent to other state programs. The casino companies generally kept no more than 33 percent.
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