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Maryland House and Senate Leaders Review

House Speaker Michael E. Busch commented that he expects a vote regarding the slots proposal on Thursday, followed by a meeting between the Senators and delegates over the differences regarding.
James Norton
San Francisco, California

6 Slots Proposals at Laurel Park

The decision by the state officials improves the chances that a large casino facility will be constructed at the Arundel Mills mall and opens the chance of another round of bidding for the slot machines in Allegany County. Based on the advice from the attorney general’s office in Maryland, the rejected proposals were judged to be incomplete because they did not feature millions of dollars in legally required licensing costs.

The seven member slot machines panel is expect to decide by the end of this year whether to give the lucrative gaming licenses to the remaining applicant who wants to construct slots facilities in Baltimore and Cecil County, near the Arundel Mills and Ocean City. The chairman of the slots commission, Donald C. Fry, did not give permission to the lawyers for Laurel Park-which is long considered to be a favorable candidate for slots license-to speak before the vote by the commission.

Maryland Slots

A 1,500 slot machine casino facility in Cecil County has received the approval of a state committee and could open to the public within a year. But state slot machine decision makers expressed their frustration and impatience with two other planned slots facilities in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County, demanding immediate action within two months.

Commission Recommends

While the state’s commission is not suggesting state legislators permit casino table games, it wants lawmakers to keep in mind that Maryland’s neighboring states may lure players away with casino table games like roulette, blackjack and poker. Donald Fry, the head of Maryland’s Video Lottery Facility Location Commission said that legislators should keep an eye on what is happening on other states as they begin reviewing state policy.


For the 3rd consecutive year, Massachusetts state lawmakers did not approve a bill that would have permit fraternal organizations like the American Legion utilize in-house slot machines as a fundraising equipment on April 23rd, 2010.

A 1987 state law gives all nine counties in the Shore the Book of Dead chance to use the slot machines for fundraising, but at the time, Worcester County officials decided to opt off the list. The failed proposal would have place Worcester back onto the list.

Del. Jim Mathias said that both himself and Chairman Conway tried throughout the evening to find a common ground and unfortunately that did not happen. Mathias said that the clock struck 12:00 midnight and the bill expired. He said that he is very disappointed for the clubs and all the work that they have put into it and the non-profit organizations that would have benefited from the machines.

Supported by Lower Shore delegates Norman and Mathias Conway, the gaming bill was submitted at the earliest possible time and eventually be approved by the House with minimum opposition. It was approved in the Senate but only after Senators decided to combine it with another gaming bill, one permitting card games at Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George’s County.

The proposal returned to its original Ways and Means committee in the House, where it was dismissed after legislators decided not to agree with Senate version of the proposal. The past commander of Ocean City’s American Legion Post 166, Sarge Garlitz, was very angry that Rosecroft bill was attached because it had absolutely nothing to do with a local issue. Garlitz said that is the stupidest thing that has ever heard in his life.

He said that you have someone Hockey Experts from Prince George’s County and Calvert County telling what is good for their county and what is not. He added that someone up there is very irresponsible for taking this proposal away from Worcester County residents.

Plans for an American Legion baseball team that would have been funded by income from slot machines also fell through with the dismissal of the bill. A state legislative study of the bill concluded that the slot machines could have produced approximately $1 million yearly for Worcester charities among the eight fraternal organizations allowed to have them.


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