Video Gambling Machines in Maryland Could Be Illegal By Next Year
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While most states are expanding their gambling. Peter Franchot is trying to make Maryland go the other way. He is trying to push legislation that would ban video gambling machines from the state.
The target date for the machines to become illegal is next year. Franchot believes that the machines are a form of gambling that is not regulated and is being taken advantage of by bar owners.
“The gambling industry is making a killing on these operations. The time has come to put an end to it,” said Franchot. Currently, licenses are available for bar owners to carry and operate the machines.
The new legislation is a Bill that is currently ready to be reviewed by the Senate. The Bill would make it illegal for bar owners to have the machines.
While the current system allows for the machines to be used in a not for profit way, there is speculation that certain bars are paying out on the machines illegally. With the recent busts around the country, that is not a weak observation.
The not for profit organizations, however, will be highly opposed to the machines ban. They use the machines in the correct manner, and raise money for various causes using the machines.
“If you do away with all of this local activity, who is going to provide the money for the…causes that are funded? No one’s proposing any replacement for it financially,” said Bruce Bereano a lobbyist for a company that manufactures electronic bingo machines.
Victory For Smoking In Bingo Parlors In Greenville, Mississippi
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Smoking in casinos is one of the en vogue arguments around the United States. Many cities and states have been regulating their laws to ensure that smoking does not exist at casinos in their areas.
In Greenville, Mississippi, they have concocted rules that allows smoking in their casinos but not in their bingo parlors. Those laws were quickly overturned by a Washington County judge.
Circuit Judge Richard Smith told the city of Greenville that they could not ban smoking in bingo parlors unless they did the same for their casinos. The city’s bingo parlor owners felt the original law was unfair.
“Their feeling was if you are going to let casino customers smoke freely then you ought to allow the bingo halls to have the same,” said Rep. John Himes. Judge Smith agreed with the bingo parlor owners.
Hines had come up with a Bill where the Mississippi Gaming Commission would have to adopt a rule for smoking in places where gambling was legal. That Bill was defeated in in a House Committee, but still the bingo parlor owners pressed on.
The Gaming Commission has chosen to stay out of this battle. They have not been asked for a ruling on the smoking ban. “We typically leave that up to the city and county governments to address the smoking bans,” said Commission Executive Director Larry Gregory.
Other states have had similar battles regarding smoking laws. Many states that have legalized casino gambling have banned smoking from public places, but have exempted casinos from that ban.
Other states and cities have just put an outright ban on smoking , including inside of casinos. Nevada, the casino gambling capital of the United States has a smoking ban in place. They have exempted their casinos from the ban, however.