ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland voters have passed a ballot measure to expand gambling in the state.
The vote for Question 7 on Tuesday came after the most expensive political advertising campaign in Maryland's history. More than $90 million was spent on television and radio ads.
Gov. Martin O'Malley called a special session in August to take up the gambling expansion to allow table games like blackjack and a casino near the nation's capital. Lawmakers approved the legislation, which required voter approval.
Supporters say they voted for the ballot question to keep Maryland gamblers from spending their money in neighboring states like Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
"I would be happy, I'm hoping that there will be more funding for the schools," said Erica Hickerson in Salisbury on Tuesday. "I'm a teacher. I'm at home with my daughter right now but when I go back to school I would hope that there are more programs and activities for the students."
Opponents said they voted against the expansion because they did not believe the money would be used for education as lawmakers have said.
"With the economy the way it is, education is on the lowest part of the totem pole," said Emma Crismond of Salisbury, who is also a teacher. "The money is not going to get there."
Opponents also argued that the state simply does not need another casino.
"We already have three rather large casinos which aren't making a lot of profit and saturating our area," said Robert Tavenner.
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