M.J. "Jay" Brodie, president of Baltimore Development Corp., said the Baltimore City Entertainment Group is in "serious talks" with an investor, though he cautioned that such talks do not always lead to a deal. He said the representatives from BCEG are speaking with city officials daily.

The entertainment group also has had conversations with Las Vegas gambling giant Harrah's, according to sources familiar with the discussions. Gary Thompson, a spokesman for Harrah's, would not confirm those talks. "We typically don't discuss who we are talking to," he said.

"Whenever a new jurisdiction opens up, we always take a look at expanding our footprint," Thompson said. "There is a lot of study that has to take place."

Moldenhauer is also attempting to build a racino with 600 slot machines in New Mexico, and has said a temporary gaming facility will open at the end of January.

New Mexico Gaming Board spokesman Greg Saunders said little progress has been made at the site, near the Colorado border northeast of Albuquerque. "They've moved some dirt around," he said, "but no construction has occurred."

The other large proposed casino in Maryland is also on hold.

This month, the state slots commission approved a license for a facility at Arundel Mills, but the developers, the Cordish Cos., have yet to obtain necessary zoning approval. The Anne Arundel County Council, which is divided about slots, has delayed voting on the issue for months. It is set to take up the matter next week.

David Cordish has also submitted a bid for Laurel Park, which is being auctioned next month because its owners are bankrupt. Another interested party, Baltimore lawyer and Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos, did not submit a bid for the track, said John Franzone, chairman of the Maryland Racing Commission.

Baltimore Sun reporters Laura Smitherman and Andrea Walker contributed to this article.

York Capital Management
•Investment firm working with institutions, endowments, foundations and individuals

•Manages more than $9 billion in assets

•Founded in 1991

•Offices in New York, Washington, Hong Kong and London