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GAMING BILL OPENS FLOODGATE FOR POLITICAL SPENDING

Communication professor Trevor Parry-Giles weighs in on gambling legislation.

By Tim Prudente, Capital Gazette

The passage of gaming legislation this week is expected to open new floodgates for political spending in Maryland and prompt deep-pocketed special interests to pour millions of dollars into advertisements targeting voters.

While voters statewide will decide in November if Maryland should add table games and 24-hour gambling, residents of Prince George’s County by themselves have the power to block a new casino for their county.

That casino could bring fortunes to prospective developers, and shunt millions of dollars away from the state’s existing and already-planned gambling facilities.

“We’ve never seen anything like this, it’s kind of uncharted territory,” said Trevor Parry-Giles, a professor who studies rhetoric and political culture at the University of Maryland, College Park. “These gambling interests have so much money at stake on either side and they’re going to be targeting a relatively small segment of voters.”

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Date of Publication: 
8/16/12