OP-ED: Gambling Expansion Creates “the Kinds of Jobs that Marylanders Need to Raise Their Families.”
With the fate of Maryland’s gambling expansion in the hands of We, The People via Question 7 on the November ballot, Rod Easter, President of the Baltimore Building and Construction Trades Council, has taken to the pages of the Baltimore Sun to correct a recent op-ed on the matter.
The original piece, “A misleading pitch,” was published on September 7 and suggested that opposition to Question 7 was “indeed being financed by an out-of-state casino company that doesn’t have Maryland taxpayers’ interests at heart.” Easter acknowledges the source of said funding but notes that The Sun did not accurately represent the resulting job creation that gambling expansion would induce:
“Adding table games at Maryland’s existing casinos will create roughly 1,600 jobs statewide. Building an $800 million resort casino will create roughly 2,000 union construction jobs during the 2-1/2 year period needed for construction. Operating an $800 million resort casino will require about 4,000 workers. Supporting the operation of an $800 million casino through area vendors and businesses will create another 4,400 jobs.”
The Building and Construction Trades Council has been a full-time supporter of gambling expansion. Opposition television ads are both misleading and funded by a company looking out for its own interests in neighboring West Virginia, according to Easter. He points out that the jobs created by gambling expansion can help support Maryland families and that opposition is looking to keep those jobs in West Virginia.
These are good-paying jobs with benefits. They are the kinds of jobs that Marylanders need to raise their families.
And they are the jobs that the opponent of Question 7 is trying to save for West Virginia and keep out of Maryland. If there’s something that all of us can agree on in The Sun’s recent editorial on Question 7, it’s that opposition to the referendum centers on one out-of-state casino company trying to protect its interests in West Virginia.
Throughout the debate, proponents have argued that the increased revenue from gambling expansion could help Maryland’s schools. Casinos present a moral dilemma for many, but Rod Easter has a clear vision for their positive impact: get working families working again.