ANNAPOLIS - The Maryland General Assembly gave final approval Saturday to two pieces of legislation that will significantly change tip jar gaming regulations in Washington County.
One bill ensures that the tip jar regulations will not go out of effect next year, as the current law would allow. A second piece of legislation would increase tip jar proceeds distributed to charity through the Washington County Gaming Commission by an estimated $1.35 million.
Local lawmakers said they were pleased after the Senate approved the measures.
"It means more accountability. It means more support for fire and rescue (companies), and the nonprofits. And it means we still have a model for the rest of the state to follow, if it chooses to do so," said Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington.
Currently fraternal, civic and veterans clubs in the county are required to donate 15 percent of their gross gaming proceeds to charity. But only half of the giving has to be made through the commission; the rest can be made directly to nonprofit groups in the form of cash and in-kind services, such as donating free room space.