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Maryland to reconsider position on internet gambling

The Baltimore Sun and CBS are reporting that the state of Maryland is exploring the possibility of reconsidering its negative stance on internet based gambling.

The possible change of stance is surprising, considering that the state prosecuted the Bodog brand and seized the site's web domain and had previously tried to prosecute payment processors who were involved with the betting site BetEd.

Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch told lawmakers earlier this week that a special session will be held next Thursday to consider the possibility of legalizing and regulating internet gambling in the state as a way to remain competitive with neighboring states.

In a note to fellow lawmakers, Busch noted: "Since the voters overwhelmingly approved the establishment of a Maryland gaming program in 2008, every surrounding state with a gaming program has expanded to include table games and, in some cases, other forms of gambling."

"In order to maintain a healthy and competitive gaming program that attracts players from beyond Maryland's borders and keeps Maryland gamers at home, we must put our gaming program on par with other jurisdictions in the Mid-Atlantic."

The Speaker also pointed out that the special session being held must have the goal of generating revenues within the Old Line State to pay for education and work on the state's debt.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley also noted that online gambling could be included in a gambling expansion bill.

If a gambling expansion is to be set into law, it would have to be approved by voters on the November voting ballot.

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