Md. Live Casino Gets Television Exposure For Poker Event

What happens in Vegas now happens here in Maryland, too. Some of the best poker players in the world are filming a show right here in our own backyard. Maryland Live Casino is the hot spot for the show “Poker Night in America.” “We’ve seen poker on TV before with championships and gold bracelets and money and excitement but you know what? Poker is a game that anybody can play. Anyone can play and have fun and that’s what we want to capture in `Poker Night in America,’” said creative director Nolan Dalla. (WJZ-CBS)

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March 24 // FBI headquarters would be boon for Md., economists say

Aneffort to lure the FBI to Maryland could have a profound payoff for the state's economy, but the benefits could take years to materialize and the eventualimpact would hinge on how local officials handle the project, several of the state's top economists say. Maryland's congressional delegation has been pressing for months to make Prince George's County the new home of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which iscurrently headquartered in the crumbling J. Edgar Hoover Building in Downtown Washington. The lawmakers are competing with officials in Virginia, who want the FBI to move to Springfield instead. (Balt. Sun)

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Analysts have 'no clue' what it will cost to fix Maryland's flawed health exchange

The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange has about $93 million to spend on fixing its flawed online marketplace before needing to ask for more money from the state or federal government — or so analysts think. State budget analysts believe the exchange has roughly $93 million — money remaining in its IT budget — to put toward a fix for the online insurance marketplace. But uncertainty about what the state will do with the exchange and a triage approach to making the system work for now have made it difficult for analysts to determine exactly how much money is available for a Plan B and how much it will cost. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Kevin Spacey whips votes for Maryland film tax credits

The invitations — sent to every member of the Maryland General Assembly — promised “an evening of Annapolis, D.C. and Hollywood.” Oh, and it was. The guest of honor was Kevin Spacey, the two-time Academy Award winner who plays an unscrupulous, murderous politician in the wildly popular Netflix series “House of Cards.” Spacey? He was there to whip votes. “House of Cards” filmed its first two seasons in Maryland and planned to start filming the third season this spring. That has been pushed off until at least June, as the show’s makers refuse to continue filming in Maryland until lawmakers vote to set aside millions more in film tax credits. (Wash. Post)

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Long-term unemployed watch coming debate over benefits closely

The first thing Eric Miles lost was his Jeep. Then it was the apartment that he and his 12-year-old son called home. Since the federal government cut off jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed late last year, the 54-year-old East Baltimore man has moved in with his sister, relied on family to pay the phone bill and borrowed bus fare to go out and look for work. Nearly three months after Congress allowed the benefits to lapse, tens of thousands of out-of-work Marylanders are hoping that a bipartisan deal to extend the program through May will win approval. But the plan could be doomed by opposition from some conservatives, who say the benefits create a disincentive for seeking a job, as well as a national group representing state unemployment officials. (Balt. Sun)

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Auction of Pat Turner's Westport land canceled after another last-minute legal maneuver

A foreclosure sale scheduled for Friday morning to auction off developer Patrick Turner’s Westport land has been canceled again after a last-minute U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing forced an automatic stay in the case. The filing on Friday came from a creditor who is claiming Turner’s Inner Harbor West II LLC, which owns some of the waterfront property assembled at Westport, owes the company just over $2 million. The company, Tiderock Capital LLC of Towson, is unlikely to receive any money as a result of Friday’s foreclosure sale, so the timing of the filing likely means it is the latest in a string of legal maneuvers used by Turner to avoid losing the property. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Energy-bill shocks follow cold weather

Matt Kumpar paid $622 for the electricity his auto shop used in January, so he thought the February charge — a whopping $3,192 — was a mistake. It wasn't. The rate for his electric supply skyrocketed, a shift his provider blamed on abnormally low temperatures brought on by the polar vortex. Most Marylanders are seeing big bills — continuing to arrive this month and likely next month, too — because their heating systems needed extra fuel to maintain normal temperatures. But customers with variable-rate contracts got a double whammy. They used more power and discovered just how variable their rates are. (Balt. Sun)

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Local bill would lift open-bottle limit for some wine tastings

Local wine sellers with high-tech preservation systems might soon pop the cork on a few more bottles during sampling events if the Legislature decides to tweak state laws. Under the current rules, no more than six bottles can be open at a time during tastings, and customers can drink no more than 6 ounces of wine per day. But the bill now before the Maryland General Assembly would remove the six-bottle limit for stores with special wine preservation systems used to dispense samples for customers. (News-Post)

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