If a bill sponsored by two Republican Maryland lawmakers is implemented, tens of thousands of gambling machines might be installed at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).
House Bill 733 was introduced by Baltimore County Delegate Ric Metzgar, R-District 6, with the goal of bringing 3,000 slot machines to the airport.
Metzgar claims that the slot machines will help the state raise much-needed income by utilizing the airport’s captive audience.
“Delayed flights, people are still at the airport hanging out, nothing to do, this is a captive audience and it’s an opportunity for us to get outside money,” Metzgar told a local news station.
Only two airports in the United States, Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport and Reno-Tahoe International Airport, are known to feature slot machines in their terminal buildings.
In-airport slot machines in Las Vegas number roughly 1,400, while those in Reno number around 250. The machines generate more than $40 million in profit for the two airports each year.
The proceeds from the machines, according to Metzgar, will go to the Education Trust Fund and the local community surrounding the airport.
Overcrowding, according to the airport administration, would limit the number of gambling machines that could be installed. It estimates that there is enough space for 1,000 machines.
It isn’t the first time that legislators have attempted to bring slot machines to BWI. In the last decade alone, several initiatives have failed.