The Legislature's casino gambling plan cleared the first round of debate Thursday.
It got 26 votes, just one more than the 25 needed. The proposal faces to more rounds of debate and it must get at least 30 votes in the final stage to be put on the November ballot.
It then would be up to voters to approve.
Lawmakers acted knowing that petitions are being circulated that would legalize casino gambling. A coalition of groups is circulating petitions that would ask voters to approve allowing slot machine and video gambling across the state.
Sen. Vickie McDonald of Rockville says people want gambling and they are going to get a chance to vote on it whether the Legislature wants it or not.