MARYLAND

Maryland's Question 7 gaming bill challenged in court

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After a hugely expensive campaign few will soon forget, Maryland voters on election day back in November narrowly approved an expansion of gambling in the state. It will mean table games and a new casino in Prince George’s County. Maryland Live at Arundel Mills has already started 24/7 operations.

But now, opponents of Question 7 are saying the vote is invalid.

“We believe the word of the law will be clear,” says Bonnie Bick, who is one of seven other Oxon Hill residents suing to have the passage of Question 7 declared null and void.

In court Tuesday, they told a judge that a change in the state gambling law requires approval of a majority of registered voters, not just a majority of those who show up to vote. Bick's lawyer says it's in writing.

“We're arguing that the plain language of the constitution requires a majority of the registered voters of the state, says attorney Tom Dernoga.

And since the vote count fell short of that number, so did Question 7.

Bick says she just plain doesn't want a big casino near her Oxon Hill home. Now she hopes this technicality wins her fight.

The opposition to the lawsuit was represented in court Tuesday by lawyers for, among others, the Maryland Live casino and MGM, which wants to build a casino here at National Harbor.

Their argument is simple too. That a simple majority of voters is enough.

The judge says he will decide soon.

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