For the fifth occasion in as many years Eric Bromwell, Member of the Maryland House of Delegates, has introduced a bill to authorize the installation of slot machines at BWI Marshall Airport in Baltimore.
Bromwell believes that the installation of slot machines will give the Maryland state treasury a much needed boost and provide an excellent alternative to other controversial bills.
Bromwell is hoping that 2500 slot machines could be installed at the airport and believes that they will make $13.5 million annually for the state and $3 million for Anne Arundel County.
“I consider this to be the ultimate alternative to a gas tax,” Bromwell said.
“This is exactly how we pay for roads.
“A large number of the passengers that depart from BWI Marshall Airport are from outside the region and if they can afford to fly, why shouldn’t they spend their money while they’re here.”
The bill is expected to face stiff opposition in the General Assembly but has drawn forty co-sponsors, compared to the eleven from last year, and has received vocal support from some leading members.
“I love this bill,” Member for Prince George’s County Jolene Ivey said.
“Passengers often have time to kill and if they choose to spend their time on gaming, then the citizens of Maryland will benefit from their losses.”
“Do we need the money? Yes and it’s sound policy,” Baltimore County Delegate Jon Cardin said.
“The benefits are high and the costs are low.”
The Maryland Government is currently looking to generate $700 million a year in new revenue to pay for a number of much-needed transportation projects including improvements to roads and public transport facilities.
This is another area when slot machines can be extremely profitable for an industry with little cost or consequences.