The fate of a controversial proposal to expand gambling in the state remained undecided Tuesday afternoon as debate in the House of Delegates was delayed for more than two hours.
A House committee approved the bill — introduced by Gov. Martin O’Malley and adopted by the Senate last week — late Monday night, after a day of off-and-on meetings to adopt amendments.
The bill would legalize table games at the state’s existing casinos, allow a sixth casino for the state to be built in Prince George’s County, and adjust the tax rate on casinos to compensate for additional costs and competition.
As currently amended by the House, the bill is projected to net an additional $200 million to the state’s Education Trust Fund.
The full chamber was scheduled to meet to take up the bill at 2 p.m. Tuesday, but the bells to convene the session did not ring until 4:15, though many delegates had been present at their desks or waiting in the nearby lounge for hours.
The extended delays Monday and Tuesday fueled speculation that House leadership was still cutting deals to ensure the gambling bill had enough votes to pass.