Penn National is being paid back-to-back to fight game expansion in Maryland

Penn National Gaming’s chief financial officer has promised the local casino giant will continue to spend aggressively to defeat Maryland’s game expansion plans.

The company may set a new standard for political spending in Maryland.

The state’s most expensive political campaign was in 2006, when candidates and political parties spent more than $34 million. Some observers would not be surprised to see Pennsylvania break its own campaign spending record. 온라인경마

In 2008, Penn National spent $37.9 million to defeat Ohio game expansion. The race cost $60.8 million in total.

Penn National CFO Bill Clifford told a Credit Suisse-sponsored investor conference with the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas this week that the company “has enough resources and media airtime to support messages.”

The Baltimore Sun reports that Penn National has donated $18.1 million so far to the “Get the Facts” committee, which works to defeat Question 7 in the Nov. 6 vote. If the game’s expansion is approved, it could compete with Penn National’s casino in the Prince George’s County suburbs.

MGM Resorts International, which has proposed building a $700 million casino complex for the county’s National Harbor development, has donated $14.6 million to “Maryland Jobs and Growth,” a committee seeking to pass the referendum.

Caesars Entertainment, which announced plans to build a $300 million Harrows Baltimore casino in August, has donated more than $1 million to an effort in favor of Question 7.

Question 7 will allow existing slot machine-only casinos and game licensees to provide table games in addition to casinos. The move will also lower the gaming tax rate in Maryland, which is the highest in the industry, at 67%.

Caesars Chairman Gary Loveman told investors this week that the company benefits regardless of whether questions pass.

If Question 7 wins, Caesars will add a table game to the project, which will be renamed Horschoe Baltimore. If you lose, you’ll be less competitive.

Penn National officials said the company is not against expanding casinos in Maryland, but they believe the racetrack it owns near National Harbor is better for casinos. Penn National also operates the Hollywood Casino Ferryville in Cecil County, 30 minutes northeast of Baltimore.

A spokesperson for Penn National did not return a call Friday.

This week, the Baltimore Sun released a poll showing that the referendum was in question, with only 38 percent approving.

Spending by MGM Resorts and Penn National has fueled a flood of TV commercials for and against casino projects. On Wednesday, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley called Penn National’s attack on casino expansion “total nonsense, and (and) a West Virginia casino Hui cohort.”

Mr. O’Malley, D-Minn., backed casino expansion and pushed lawmakers to pass the matter in an extraordinary session this summer. He questioned Penn National’s integrity at a news conference in Annapolis.

O’Malley said Penn National is spending “money and buckets” to protect the company’s West Virginia casino interests.

O’Malley said, “I think it’s sad and pathetic that Penn is running false advertisements saying we’re not investing more in education.” O’Malley also criticized Penn National Chairman Peter Kalino, saying, “I would have expected more… but I think he has enough money at stake to run these false advertisements.”

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