I know there are quite a few fellow Marylanders floating around here, not to mention other folks in the region who have probably seen blurbs about this in the news.
Starting this Thursday, Maryland legislators have been called back by Governor O'Malley to tackle the three main issues of (1) adding table games to new and existing MD casinos, (2) allowing the addition of a 6th state casino at the National Harbor near DC, and (3) modifying the 67% tax rate on slot revenues (highest in the nation).
Late last week there was speculation that provisions for Internet gambling (including online poker) could have been thrown into the fray, but as of just this morning it appears that this will have to wait for another time. (Internet gaming won’t be in Maryland gambling mix - Maryland Politics - The Washington Post
Not only does it make complete sense for MD casinos to offer table games so that we can stay competitive with the surrounding states and bring in more revenue, but obviously it would be freaking awesome to have a place to play within 30 mins. The return of online poker as well would be even better, but that might be more likely to happen at the federal level before we follow in Delaware's footsteps and legalize intrastate play.
This entire special session fiasco has been very controversial and there are a lot of anti-gambling sentiments being thrown around, not to mention politicians who are posturing just to spite O'Malley for ruining their summer plans. Personally I am hoping that at least the table games measure goes through and makes it to the November ballot, from which it will be likely to pass, but at the same time I am encouraging anyone interested to contact your representatives, comment on online newspaper articles, etc. to get the pro-poker side of the debate out there.
Hopefully this doesn't come off as spamy, but I created a site called Maryland Poker Connection (Maryland Poker Connection | Maryland poker news, home games, online poker, casinos, poker laws, etc.Maryland Poker Connection
) with the latest news and some resources that might be helpful. Here's the page with ways to find and contact the pertinent elected officials: Contact your Representatives | Maryland Poker ConnectionMaryland Poker Connection
Thanks for taking the time to read and thanks even more if you take even the tiniest step to help make this happen.