Maryland lawmakers are still waiting for the big payout from the Legislature's gamble more than four years ago on legalized slot machines.
To truly hit the jackpot, some lawmakers believe the state must expand state-approved gambling further. They say table games and a Washington-area casino are needed to compete with neighboring states and generate the dollars needed for education and other needs. Much of the competition comes from venues in Delaware, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
When the General Assembly voted in 2007 to let voters decide whether to allow up to 15,000 slot machines at five casinos in the state, supporters touted it as a sure-fire way to bring in millions for education.
Voters approved slot machines at five casinos in 2008. But so far, only 2,300 slot machines have been turned on at two locations, off Interstate 95 and on the Eastern Shore.