ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WUSA) -- A senate committee Thursday approved a bill that would clear the way for Vegas-style casino gambling at National Harbor in Prince George's County and at other casinos in the state.

Its the first step toward expanded gambling in Maryland during an unusual summer special session of the legislature to finally put the decades-old gambling issue behind lawmakers.

Voters would have to approve any new law in a November statewide referendum.

The law, proposed by Gov. Martin O'Malley, could add to existing gambling revenues and result in as much as a half-billion dollars per year in school funding. But the renewed debate has also pitted Anne Arundel County against its neighbor Prince George's.

Anne Arundel County is the home of the Maryland Live Casino, which opposes any new competition from National Harbor.

Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker says expanded gambling is a "win, win" in part because statewide Vegas-style table gaming will reap more revenue for all.

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