In mid-March, opponents of a casino at Arundel Mills mall appeared to have enough signatures to force a voters' referendum in November on the largest site of the state's fledging slots effort. According to its Web site, the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections had accepted 19,054 signatures — more than the necessary 18,970 — on a petition to place a slots referendum on the fall ballot. The petition sought to overturn a hard-won zoning measure to allow a 4,750-machine parlor to be built on a mall parking lot.Slots opponents submitted 40,407 signatures. "We have in excess of the threshold at this juncture," said Tom Chuckas, president of the Maryland Jockey Club, which financed the referendum effort sponsored by Citizens Against Slots at the Mall. "This says to us that the people who signed the petition believe that the facility is not properly located at a mall. We supported a position that was supported by Anne Arundel County residents. The referendum will stand and win."
Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam