Sun coverage: Slot machines in Md.
Coverage of the debate over legalizing slot machine gambling in Maryland
7:27 PM EDT, August 12, 2014
Baltimore school officials are working to fill hundreds of teacher vacancies in the weeks before the school year starts, according to information presented to the school board Tuesday.
6:27 PM EDT, July 19, 2014
Amusement game operators and distributors are fighting the Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission's proposed regulations on arcade games, but the agency already has new authority that could affect the side of the game business that operators don't like to talk about: illegal slot machines.
2:20 PM EDT, April 16, 2013
Maryland Live officials often tout the Hanover facility's standing as the highest-grossing casino in the Mid-Atlantic when only slots revenue is taken into account.
6:39 PM EDT, April 8, 2014
Just hours after the General Assembly wrapped up its 90-day session, Gov. Martin O'Malley signed legislation Tuesday that will expand pre-kindergarten education and lift the "inherently dangerous" legal stigma from the pit bulls of Maryland.
5:43 PM EST, December 27, 2013
Nearly 650 mares were bred in Maryland this year, a 13 percent increase over 2012, and a surge in state slots gambling revenue could help raise the number again next year, according to the Maryland Horse Breeders Association.
7:13 PM EST, November 14, 2012
The state's largest casino plans to hire hundreds of dealers and install 150 table games, with some taking wagers of up to $10,000, Maryland Live officials said Wednesday in the first detailed announcement since voters legalized such games last week.
6:20 PM EDT, June 24, 2013
An Anne Arundel County jury has ordered a Glen Burnie engineer to pay $6,331 in damages to a pro-slots committee for taking their signs during the ballot campaign of 2010 that brought slots to the Arundel Mills area.
12:43 AM EDT, August 15, 2012
The Maryland General Assembly gave final approval to Gov. Martin O'Malley's gambling bill early Wednesday morning, agreeing to allow table games and a sixth casino in the state while also giving new tax breaks to casino owners.
8:42 PM EDT, August 23, 2012
Two groups are formally objecting to the casino license awarded to a Caesars Entertainment affiliate for a planned Baltimore casino. They argue in part that bids were solicited for a basic slots parlor, and bids for the project should be reopened now that the General Assembly has authorized table games such as poker and blackjack.
7:25 PM EDT, July 26, 2012
The chief executive officer of MGM Resorts International, which wants to open a luxury casino at National Harbor, said Thursday that his company has dropped efforts to win tax breaks from the Maryland General Assembly to build a gambling palace at thePrince George's County site.
8:59 PM EDT, August 3, 2012
At the Park Heights Barber Shop, the frustration is palpable.
6:47 PM EDT, May 1, 2012
The developer of a casino scheduled to open next month at Arundel Mills will temporarily restrict southbound access to the mall beginning next week during road construction to prepare for an expected traffic increase.
8:44 PM EDT, May 30, 2012
The Maryland State Lottery failed to collect tens of thousands of dollars from manufacturers who did not promptly fix inoperable slot machines, state auditors found in their first review of the agency since the start of the state's slots program in 2010.
3:39 PM EDT, April 14, 2012
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to bury the notion of Governing. It has been suffering the ravages of age for some time now, so it perhaps would not be surprised that people gather to bury rather than praise it.
8:24 PM EDT, March 16, 2012
Executives of Caesars Entertainment, the leading bidder for a slots parlor in Baltimore, gave lawmakers explicit assurances Friday that their company will not abandon the city for Prince George's County if the General Assembly approves a casino there.
8:38 PM EDT, April 26, 2012
Hoping to turn around the struggling resort, Maryland's slots location committee awarded a license Thursday for a casino at Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort in Allegany County.
9:04 PM EDT, April 5, 2012
A high-stakes bill to expand gambling in Maryland is still unsettled in Annapolis, but one thing is clear: Right now, the payout is going to lobbyists.
8:33 PM EST, January 13, 2012
Maryland's slots commission threw out a bid Friday by former state Democratic Party Chairman Nathan Landow to build a casino at Rocky Gap, leaving a single offer in play for the Western Maryland resort.
7:15 PM EDT, April 2, 2012
The Maryland Jockey Club, the financially strapped operator of the state's major thoroughbred racetracks, substantially cut its losses last year thanks to state slots subsidies but still falls short of becoming financially stable.
6:16 PM EST, December 17, 2011
In response to concerns raised by a high-profile applicant for a downtown Baltimore slots casino, Maryland officials have relaxed a rule designed to keep people with past gambling transgressions from winning licenses to operate such facilities.
1:31 PM EST, January 13, 2012
Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold told the county's members of the House of Delegates Friday that anticipated slots revenue would likely stave off the need for public employee furloughs.
6:13 PM EST, December 27, 2011
A Maryland legislator said he plans to introduce a bill in the General Assembly that would outlaw video game rooms that offer cash prizes for playing a "sweepstakes," saying such operations could effectively put "slots on every corner."
9:03 PM EST, November 14, 2011
The head of Caesars Entertainment Corp. promised Monday to bring a "world-class" Harrah's casino to Baltimore that would be marketed heavily to 43 million gamblers in the company's rewards program if his group is given the go-ahead by Maryland's slots commission
7:35 PM EST, December 21, 2011
The state Board of Public Works approved spending of $168 million to equip the Maryland Live! Casino expected to open at Arundel Mills in June with 4,719 electronic slot machines.
8:49 PM EDT, September 27, 2011
A Prince George's County Council member, hoping to keep slots out of the county, introduced a bill Tuesday that would ban the gambling devices.
8:02 PM EDT, September 28, 2011
The state slots commission voted unanimously Wednesday to throw out bids by some developers seeking to build casinos in Baltimore and Western Maryland, saying the applications failed to provide minimum requirements.
8:19 PM EDT, September 6, 2011
An engineer suspected of removing more than 70 pro-slots signs before last year's slots referendum in Anne Arundel County was fined $5,000 Thursday by a judge and granted probation before judgment on a single conviction of theft.
8:51 AM EDT, September 24, 2011
Caesars Entertainment Corp., the world's largest casino operator, applied Friday for the license to run the slot machine parlor proposed for Baltimore, while three developers will compete for the opportunity to run a casino in Western Maryland.
8:03 PM EDT, August 17, 2011
A state panel sweetened the terms Wednesday for bids for the slots licenses in Baltimore and Rocky Gap.
10:34 PM EDT, August 3, 2011
The State Lottery Agency says it wants to return $3 million in fees submitted by backers of a failed bid for the Baltimore slots license.
8:30 PM EDT, September 22, 2011
Two developers say they are planning to submit bids Friday to operate a casino in Western Maryland, and the head of the state slots commission said there are "multiple people interested" in the Baltimore slots license.
7:54 PM EDT, July 31, 2011
The surviving worker involved in a fatal mishap Friday at the construction site of the Arundel Mills slots parlor was downgraded to critical but stable condition, a Maryland Shock Trauma spokeswoman said Sunday night.
1:57 PM EDT, August 1, 2011
A construction worker who was injured in an accident Friday at the construction site of the Arundel Mills slots parlor has had his condition upgraded, a Maryland Shock Trauma spokeswoman said Monday.
10:00 PM EDT, July 20, 2011
State officials agreed Wednesday to extend the bidding deadline for the Baltimore slots license by nearly two months, a move that delays the selection process until after the city's contested mayoral primary in September.
8:03 PM EDT, July 29, 2011
A 27-year-old construction worker from Pennsylvania was killed and another worker severely injured after officials said a precast concrete wall collapsed Friday morning at the slots parlor construction site at Arundel Mills mall.
10:48 PM EDT, July 19, 2011
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will unveil plans Wednesday to direct nearly all of the revenue from Baltimore's long-delayed slots casino to reducing property taxes for city residents who own their homes, a spokesman said.
9:12 PM EDT, July 14, 2011
Just a half-mile up the road from where a massive slots casino and entertainment complex is under construction on the grounds of Arundel Mills mall, another developer is putting money on this rapidly developing area of Anne Arundel County, constructing a $140 million mixed-use development of luxury apartments, an upscale hotel, and a steakhouse.
12:02 AM EDT, June 22, 2011
City officials have agreed to pay a local development team $1.2 million to settle a 2007 deal on land slated for the Baltimore slots casino, clearing one of the last legal hurdles before the site can be developed.
8:43 PM EDT, March 31, 2011
After failing twice to attract a developer to transform the debt-ridden Rocky Gap Lodge into a profit-generating slot machine palace, Maryland lawmakers are considering a new package of financial incentives that would erase millions of dollars in fees and temporarily reduce the state's take of gambling revenue.
10:20 PM EST, January 11, 2011
State slots commissioners are urging lawmakers to loosen the requirements for prospective developers of a casino at Rocky Gap in Western Maryland, which has proved the least attractive of the five sites approved for slot-machine gambling.
9:45 PM EST, February 24, 2011
The Cordish Cos. can resume work on what is expected to be the state's most lucrative slots parlor at Arundel Mills mall, after opponents withdrew a legal challenge that has delayed the project for several weeks.
8:00 PM EDT, October 28, 2010
Opponents of slots at Arundel Mills mall are asking Maryland's attorney general to investigate claims that the Cordish Cos. violated election law by offering ownership stakes and perks to local business owners in exchange for support of its planned billion-dollar casino.
8:38 PM EDT, August 19, 2010
Even if he is able to overcome the legal obstacles to his proposed Baltimore casino, Canadian developer Michael Moldenhauer is unlikely to be granted a license to operate slot machines in the city, according to court documents filed this week.
7:36 PM EST, December 30, 2010
Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. has received initial approval from Anne Arundel County to build what is expected to be the state's most lucrative slots parlor at Arundel Mills mall.
8:40 PM EDT, May 25, 2010
Lawyers for the developer proposing a billion-dollar slots emporium at Arundel Mills mall argued Tuesday that the Anne Arundel County elections board failed to properly vet an anti-slots petition because it did not compare submitted signatures with those in voter registration records.
6:49 PM EDT, August 2, 2010
The coalition opposed to slots at Arundel Mills mall has filed necessary paperwork with state officials to begin work on its referendum campaign, coalition officials announced Monday.
February 19, 2009
Baltimore City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake asked the Dixon administration yesterday to introduce zoning legislation needed for a gambling parlor and said she is "urging the city to move forward on slots."
9:20 PM EST, January 4, 2011
Baltimore Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos is bidding to buy a bankrupt horse-racing track in Prince George's County and resurrecting a push to allow slot machines there.
10:08 PM EDT, October 24, 2010
Voters in Anne Arundel County are nearly evenly split on a ballot referendum that will decide the fate of a planned billion-dollar slots casino and entertainment complex at Arundel Mills mall, according to a new Baltimore Sun poll.
8:53 PM EDT, June 3, 2010
The fate of a planned billion-dollar gambling and live entertainment complex at Arundel Mills mall now rests in the hands of a judge.
March 17, 2010
Western Maryland slots proponents came to Annapolis on Tuesday with a dire message: Sweeten the deal for Rocky Gap or nobody will want to build a casino there. Without a slots casino, the state-owned facility will go belly up and millions of dollars will have been wasted, they warned.
March 31, 2010
Maryland's General Assembly is poised to reduce the tax rate at one of the state's five approved slots locations, hoping the change will entice bidders to Rocky Gap State Park.
8:45 AM EDT, May 25, 2010
February 25, 2010
The Anne Arundel County state's attorney's office said Wednesday it has referred allegations of fraud lodged by the developer of the state's largest slots parlor against the county elections board to the Office of the State Prosecutor.
11:01 PM EDT, August 23, 2010
Rob Annicelli's drive to stop a huge slots emporium planned near his home led him to extremes.
February 25, 2010
Five companies that were part of an unsuccessful effort to bring slot machines to downtown Baltimore have filed a lawsuit against the project's leader that seeks to recover $721,000 in unpaid fees.
March 17, 2010
Opponents of a casino at Arundel Mills mall who are on track to force a referendum filed court papers Tuesday to intervene in a lawsuit by the Cordish Cos., which contends that the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections ignored alleged fraud in the referendum effort.
February 24, 2010
The developer of the state's largest slots parlor has filed suit against the Anne Arundel County Board of Supervisors of Elections, saying the board failed to properly check for fraud and other irregularities in the signatures submitted to gain a ballot referendum on slots at Arundel Mills mall.
December 18, 2009
Maryland's slots commission rejected Thursday a bid to build a casino in downtown Baltimore, a decision that will delay much-needed revenue for the state and hamper city efforts to cut property taxes.
February 5, 2010
A coalition has submitted nearly 24,000 signatures supporting a referendum on Anne Arundel County's fall ballot that could overturn a decision allowing the state's largest slots casino at a mall.
February 23, 2010
Architects, a public relations firm and several other companies that were part of a rejected bid to build a casino in downtown Baltimore claim they are owed $771,000 by the Canadian home builder who led the proposal - the latest sign of disarray surrounding efforts to bring slot machines to the city.
December 18, 2009
Penn National Gaming Inc., which owns gambling operations across the U.S., said Thursday that it is one of six bidders for Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park and the Preakness.
February 19, 2010
Opponents of putting slot machines near a popular mall in Anne Arundel County have more than half the signatures they need to put a zoning measure on the ballot in an effort to halt the proposal. The Anne Arundel County Board of Elections is updating the verified numbers of voter signatures each day on its Web site. On Thursday, the number of accepted signatures reached 11,719. That's more than half of the 18,790 needed to bring the matter before voters in November. Opponents will have until March 8 to submit more signatures from county voters. Out of 29,680 signature lines submitted earlier this month, 20,870 have been processed. Local officials approved a zoning ordinance in December that was needed for the Cordish Co. to build a slot machine facility with 4,750 video lottery terminals near Arundel Mills mall.
December 16, 2009
Maryland officials are poised to approve a $21.5 million contract to set up the central operating system for the state's slot machine program to a company that has been accused of questionable practices in other states and countries and at one time was connected to a scandal here.
December 17, 2009
A group seeking to build a slots casino in Baltimore may have jump-started the stalled project by securing a promise of $50 million from a multibillion-dollar investment group Wednesday evening, according to a source familiar with the deal.
December 18, 2009
The Anne Arundel County Council voted unanimously late Thursday night to appoint a small-business owner and slots supporter to the council after hours of debate and divided votes.
January 20, 2010
The sale of two Maryland horse-racing tracks by bankrupt owner Magna Entertainment Corp. has been delayed for a second time, giving the company and bidders time to gain a better grasp on whether voters will be able to decide the fate of slots at Arundel Mills mall.
January 11, 2010
One of the groups organizing a petition drive with the ultimate aim of preventing slots at an Anne Arundel County mall is paying a private firm to help gather the 19,000 signatures required for a ballot referendum.
December 9, 2009
Most of the candidates vying for a vacant seat on the Anne Arundel County Council appear inclined to vote on rezoning Arundel Mills mall to allow the state's most lucrative slots parlor to be built there.
January 5, 2010
The Anne Arundel County Board of Elections has certified a petition to overturn zoning for a proposed slots emporium near Arundel Mills mall, meaning slots opponents can begin gathering the 19,000 signatures necessary to put the issue before voters this fall.
December 16, 2009
The developers of a proposed Baltimore casino are in talks with a multibillion-dollar investment group to provide cash for the slow-starting project, according to sources familiar with the discussions.
December 8, 2009
State officials have granted a long-awaited license for a proposed 4,750-machine slots casino at Arundel Mills mall, but Maryland's premier gambling project still needs local approval that was delayed again on Monday.
December 13, 2009
Even as slot-machine projects in Maryland stall, other states are betting big on expanded gambling.
November 13, 2009
Maryland slots commissioners signaled Thursday that they are prepared to approve a license for a casino near Arundel Mills mall, a project that would be the state's largest gambling venue but has drawn residential opposition.
November 3, 2009
A company that is planning a mixed-use development near Baltimore- Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport has floated the location as a possible venue for a slots casino if a nearby site at Arundel Mills mall falls through.
December 2, 2009
Adding another dimension to the slots debate days before the Anne Arundel County Council is set to vote on zoning for a casino at Arundel Mills mall, a state delegate has filed a bill that would restrict the location of video lottery terminals.
October 22, 2009
Commissioners handing out Maryland's slots licenses expressed grave concerns Wednesday about the proposals for lucrative gambling casinos in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County - and said they might toss out those applications if questions can't be resolved quickly.
October 29, 2009
The bankrupt owner of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course wants to terminate a profit-sharing agreement to split any potential slots proceeds with the tracks' former owners, including Joseph De Francis, before the two racetracks go on the auction block early next year.
October 19, 2009
Anne Arundel County has been mired for months in a zoning battle over what would be the state's largest and most lucrative slots parlor, and now the head of the county council wants the entire project moved from Arundel Mills Mall to an industrial area miles away.
October 21, 2009
Baltimore's spending panel is expected to approve a pair of land deals with prospective casino owners today that could fulfill Mayor Sheila Dixon's pledge to lower city property taxes.
October 8, 2009
Maryland's slots commission on Wednesday approved expanding a proposed Cecil County gaming facility from 500 to 1,500 machines and is poised to award the state's second license there later this month.
August 7, 2009
Gov. Martin O'Malley told members of the state's horse-racing and breeding industry Thursday that Anne Arundel County's indecision on rezoning land adjacent to Arundel Mills mall was delaying the process of getting what is the largest proposed slots parlor under way.
August 27, 2009
Outside, Baltimore's proposed casino would have an industrial look inspired by old warehouses in the surrounding area and a shop-lined pedestrian zone reminiscent of the Eutaw Street promenade at Oriole Park.
May 27, 2009
An almost even mix of more than 200 advocates and opponents of a measure that would allow slots at Arundel Mills mall voiced their opinions Tuesday night before the Anne Arundel County Council at the last public hearing before the council votes on the bill next week.
July 21, 2009
Maryland's highest court ruled that a dispute over Laurel Park's disqualified bid to open a slot-machine casino should be decided by a state contracting board before being litigated in court.
August 14, 2009
An expanded and relocated Baltimore casino on bustling Russell Street is expected to significantly boost the project's profits, and inject new momentum into the state's slots program, which to date has fallen below expectations.
June 10, 2009
Lawyers for the Laurel Park racetrack asked Maryland's highest court Tuesday to restore its disqualified proposal for a slots casino license, suggesting the state would be better off restarting a bidding process that has fallen short of expectations.
August 13, 2009
The plans for Baltimore's slots parlor began taking shape publicly Wednesday as the Board of Estimates modified the original deal and permitted the facility to rise on valuable city-owned property that previously was considered off-limits because it had been promised to another developer.
September 24, 2009
Maryland's first gambling parlor could open by Memorial Day, a state commission said Wednesday as it granted permission for 800 slot machines at an Eastern Shore harness racing track.
February 24, 2009
Magna Entertainment Corp. wants a "freeze" of "the entire video lottery licensing process, all because of its own inability to deliver the required fee at the required time," the Maryland attorney general's office said in a court filing yesterday that challenges the company's claim that the state slots bidding process was unconstitutional. Lawyers for the state are arguing that a lawsuit from the Canadian owners of the Laurel Park racetrack should be dismissed because the company should make its case first to a governor-appointed Board of Contract Appeals. The slots commission threw out the bid this month because the company failed to submit $28.5 million in required licensing fees.
March 2, 2009
A bill allowing slots in Anne Arundel County is expected to be proposed at tonight's County Council meeting - the first step in changing zoning laws to legalize slots in the only jurisdiction in the state to receive two site bids for slots parlors.
April 9, 2009
The Dixon administration and the group bidding to build a slots parlor in Baltimore have reached an agreement that could generate enough money to slash Baltimore's property tax rate by up to eight cents, officials said.
February 17, 2009
A Baltimore County lawmaker is proposing slot-machine gambling at Maryland's major airport, but Gov. Martin O'Malley called the casino a "bad idea," limiting its chances at a time of slots-related buyer's remorse in Annapolis.
September 9, 2009
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon directed the city's quasi-public development arm Tuesday to use a competitive bidding process for all future demolition projects, reversing a year-old policy and bringing the agency into line with city rules.
April 2, 2009
Neighbors of Arundel Mills get their chance Thursday night to tell a divided Anne Arundel County Council what they think about legislation that would allow the state's largest slots parlor to be built near the mall.
February 12, 2009
A commission that will award five lucrative slots licenses will hear claims today from the Laurel Park racetrack that Maryland's new gambling law is "constitutionally defective" and that the process should be halted and corrected.
February 13, 2009
State officials threw out yesterday two of six recent proposals for slot-machine casinos at Laurel Park racetrack in Anne Arundel County and Rocky Gap State Park in Western Maryland. The decision increases the chances that a large casino will be built at Arundel Mills mall and opens the possibility of another round of bidding in Allegany County.
February 5, 2009
The developer vying for the state's most lucrative slots license is wooing officials with visions of a billion-dollar entertainment complex at Arundel Mills that would include hotels, live entertainment venues and Maryland's largest casino - and says he has the money to pay for it.
February 6, 2009
Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller called on a slots commission yesterday to consider tossing out all bids submitted to build casinos around the state and starting over.
February 4, 2009
Prospects for a near-term gambling windfall in Maryland fizzled yesterday as state officials acknowledged that two of six bidders for gambling licenses failed to submit millions of dollars in legally required fees and that Baltimore's applicant is proposing a small, 500-machine parlor, not a 3,750-machine one.
February 11, 2009
Legalizing slot machines was supposed to save Maryland horse tracks, help Maryland schools and keep the Preakness in Baltimore. That it might fail on all counts, in a kind of grotesque trifecta, is probably what everybody involved with it deserves.
February 5, 2009
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon said yesterday that the city might reject a proposed slots parlor near the Inner Harbor if the bidders' plan wouldn't produce enough revenue to fund "worthwhile" property tax reduction.
December 7, 2008
Usually, it's the back end of the beast that is the less lovely end. Not so, though, with slots.
December 5, 2008
A commission that will dole out lucrative slots licenses in Maryland will be headed by the leader of a business advocacy group chosen by Gov. Martin O'Malley after two prominent university leaders declined interest in the unpaid assignment, according to people familiar with the matter.
November 6, 2008
Thirteen hours after Marylanders voted to legalize slot-machine gambling, Baltimore officials approved yesterday the city's $4.1 million purchase of land south of downtown for a proposed casino.
January 8, 2009
Baltimore expects developers interested in operating the city's only slots casino to pay at least $36 million in yearly rent to the city and build it to exacting environmental specifications, officials told about a dozen lobbyists, lawyers and developers yesterday.
December 19, 2008
At its first meeting last night, the commission that will award licenses to run slot-machine casinos in Maryland approved a 150-page request for bids that is expected to be sent to potential operators today.
December 9, 2008
As Maryland's slots selection commission takes shape, one newly appointed member wants the panel to go beyond awarding potentially lucrative gambling licenses to consider advising the legislature on adjustments for the just-approved gambling plan.
November 6, 2008
On the electoral map, Maryland just got bluer and Gov. Martin O'Malley's future got brighter.
February 2, 2009
As they prepare to open bids for slots licenses today, Maryland officials are casting a wary eye on Kansas, hoping that recent history will not be repeated.
November 4, 2008
Maryland voters will flock to the polls today, lured by a momentous presidential election but also called to decide on slot-machine gambling and to settle one of the most competitive congressional races in the country.
November 6, 2008
With voter approval of slot machines in Tuesday's election, Maryland's horse racing industry knows it has gotten a clean break from the starting gate in chasing what promises to be a substantial increase in revenue. But breeders, owners, trainers, track operators and everyone else involved also know they have a long way to go in realizing the promise of what slots money might mean to their flagging industry.
December 6, 2008
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a leading force behind the legalization of slot machines in Maryland, intends to pick a longtime slots opponent for a commission that will award lucrative gambling licenses, according to sources familiar with the matter.
November 2, 2008
After years of gridlock in Annapolis, millions of dollars spent by gambling interests, and incessant protest rallies, voters may render the final verdict Tuesday on slot machines in Maryland.
November 27, 2008
Slots supporters, led by horse racing and gambling interests in the Mid-Atlantic region, raised eight times as much money as their opponents in their successful campaign to persuade voters to allow slot machines in Maryland, according to campaign finance reports released yesterday.
October 25, 2008
With less than two weeks to the election, pro-slots forces have extended their financial dominance over gambling foes, thanks largely to a $500,000 donation from a national union representing about 50,000 state and municipal workers.
October 31, 2008
With next week's slots vote coming at a time of economic upheaval, state leaders are acknowledging that they might have to sweeten incentives for gambling companies to attract quality developers.
November 1, 2008
Cloverleaf Enterprises, which owns Rosecroft Raceway, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, each plan to spend at least $10,000 on efforts to pass the referendum on slot-machine gambling, which goes before voters Tuesday, according to filings made with the Maryland State Board of Elections. Rosecroft would not be eligible to bid on a slots license if the proposal is approved, but Cloverleaf Chairman Kelley Rogers said the track would benefit from slots proceeds set aside to enhance horse-racing purses. The track suspended live racing this summer because of financial difficulties. Cloverleaf plans to spend more than $40,000 on phone banks to ask voters for their support. AFSCME has endorsed the referendum as a way to help solve the state's budget shortfalls.
November 5, 2008
Marylanders voted overwhelmingly yesterday to legalize slot-machine gambling in the state after a rancorous campaign, dealing Gov. Martin O'Malley a ballot-box success and settling a debate over which politicians had deadlocked for years.
October 31, 2008
Money lifeline? You bet
October 28, 2008
A week before Election Day, anti-gambling forces are launching their first television advertisement, hoping that a last-minute media push will help defeat a referendum to bring slot machine gambling to Maryland. The 30-second spot is to start airing today on Baltimore-area stations, said Scott Arceneaux of Marylanders United to Stop Slots. Legalizing slots will cost millions "in crime, bankruptcy and addiction," the ad's narrator says. A source with the campaign said the anti-slots group plans to spend about $200,000 on airtime between now and the election. The main pro-slots group, For Maryland For Our Future, started airing TV ads this month and has spent more than $1.5 million on radio and TV spots in the Baltimore and Washington markets.
October 22, 2008
Gambling opponents are hoping that an alliance with black churches produces an upset defeat of the slots referendum when an expected record number of African-Americans turn up at Maryland polling booths next month.
October 23, 2008
The Maryland Catholic Conference, which has taken a hard-line stance on social issues including abortion and gay marriage, said yesterday that it opposed slot-machine gambling in the state but encouraged its faithful to make up their own minds.
October 29, 2008
The chairman of a group fighting Maryland's slot-machine referendum threatened yesterday to resign to protest "personal attacks" on Gov. Martin O'Malley made by the campaign and its political figurehead, Comptroller Peter Franchot.
October 14, 2008
Comptroller Peter Franchot has put his money where his mouth is in the slots debate, transferring $6,000 in campaign funds to a ballot committee opposing the gambling machines in the state. He also donated $500 of his own money. But that might be the extent of the contributions. His campaign cannot transfer more money under Maryland election law, and his campaign manager, Tim Daly, said yesterday that Franchot is "not independently wealthy" and "doesn't have intentions to contribute personally in a significant way." The donations were reported to the Maryland State Board of Elections late Friday. Voters will decide the slots referendum Nov. 4.
October 27, 2008
Just as Inner Harbor redevelopment transformed Baltimore's derelict port of rotting wharves and abandoned warehouses, Mayor Sheila Dixon's administration believes that a slot machine casino could revive a moribund industrial district while reducing city property taxes.
October 28, 2008
Here's what the people who run Laurel Park are willing to do to get you and me, betting customers, through the gates between now and the end of the year: half-price beers every time a randomly selected jockey wins a race on a Friday; a "special surprise" if one of us grabs the lucky rubber ducky out of the Laurel Lucky Duck Pond between 11 a.m. and noon Nov. 8; free apple or pumpkin pie to the first 5,500 fans on Thanksgiving Day; "Live Pasta Station" every Thursday in the Terrace Dining Room; free ice scraper to the first 4,000 fans Dec. 13.
October 8, 2008
The animus between Comptroller Peter Franchot and Gov. Martin O'Malley is taking center stage in the Maryland slots contest, providing a lively sideshow to a years-old debate to be decided by voters next month.
October 15, 2008
An anti-slots ballot committee will modify its first radio advertisement and issue a formal retraction today after mistakenly listing a Baltimore faith-based nonprofit organization as an endorser, officials said yesterday. "We've never taken a position for or against slots," said Rob English, lead organizer for Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD). "How dare they assume what an individual organization's position is?" Scott Arceneaux, a senior adviser to Marylanders United to Stop Slots, said that the anti-slots group mistakenly assumed BUILD was a supporter because Bishop Douglas I. Miles, a pastor affiliated with the group, had appeared at one of their anti-slots events. "I've apologized to Bishop Miles and we will change the ads and we'll put out a retraction," Arceneaux said. The radio spot started airing in the Baltimore market yesterday. Arceneaux said the anti-gambling group has bought $50,000 worth of airtime this week and hopes to continue airing ads until November, with television commercials closer to Election Day.
October 19, 2008
Recent economic turmoil has diminished Maryland tax collections so much that legalizing slot-machine gambling would no longer be enough to solve the state's long-term budget problems, according to new fiscal estimates.
October 11, 2008
The horse-racing industry and gambling companies have pumped $3.8 million into a campaign to convince voters to approve slot machine gambling in Maryland, according to campaign finance documents released yesterday.
October 10, 2008
While the state braces for budget cuts that are expected to significantly impact bread-and-butter programs such as education and public safety, leading politicians are seizing the opportunity to talk about another hot topic - slot-machine gambling.
September 22, 2008
At the verdant Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort outside Cumberland, a retired nurse from Pennsylvania strolls the banks of man-made Lake Habeeb, relishing a vacation of spa treatments and boutique shopping while her husband plays the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.
October 6, 2008
Perhaps more than in any other place in Maryland, the debate over whether to allow slot-machine gambling hits home in Anne Arundel County, where the state's largest slots parlor might be built squarely in suburbia.
October 3, 2008
Pro-slots television ads will begin airing today on Baltimore stations, marking another escalation in a hotly contested gambling referendum on the ballot this November. Steve Kearney, a spokesman for For Maryland For Our Future, the pro-slots ballot committee, called the purchase of airtime a "significant buy" but declined to provide specifics. Polls have shown solid support for slots in Maryland, and anti-slots activists are BRACing for a multimillion-dollar onslaught of pro-slots advertising, funded by gambling interests. Voters will decide next month whether to amend the state constitution to authorize 15,000 slot machines at five locations across the state.
September 19, 2008
Baltimore based Cordish Cos., which has built signature projects in the Inner Harbor and casinos in Florida, might compete for a slots license in Maryland if voters approve a November referendum legalizing the gambling machines, officials said.
August 17, 2008
The dusty harness track in Berlin, with its minor-league charm and horse-and-buggy night races, is no threat to the tourism juggernaut on the beach five miles away - and that's just how Ocean City business and political leaders want to keep it.
October 7, 2008
The last poll I saw on slots showed about 54 percent of Marylanders still supporting a state constitutional amendment allowing the gambling machines. That support was not as large as it appeared to be eight or nine months ago, which fits a theory I have: The closer we get to Election Day, the more people will think about this, and the more they think about it, the more of a tossup the outcome. It all comes down to which of the following attitudes prevail.
March 6, 2008
Electronic gambling machines - devices that resemble slots - have been proliferating in rural Maryland counties recently, in part because of a concerted lobbying effort by their manufacturer.
September 12, 2008
The Maryland Court of Appeals will hear arguments Monday in a lawsuit protesting the ballot language for November's slot-machine referendum, the high court said yesterday. On Wednesday, a panel of Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judges ruled that the proposed ballot language was "misleading" but said it could be fixed by adding a single word to clarify that anticipated gambling revenues would "primarily" support state education programs. The current wording does not indicate that part of the money would go to other recipients, such as the gambling industry and the state lottery. That ruling was unsatisfactory to the plaintiffs, who are asking the court to alter the ballot language more significantly or to throw out the referendum entirely.
September 11, 2008
A panel of Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judges ruled yesterday that the proposed ballot language for November's slot-machine referendum is "misleading" but said it could be fixed by adding a single word to clarify that state education programs are not the sole recipients of anticipated revenues.
October 11, 2008
Promising that revenue from slots machines would provide a "significant and permanent reduction" in city property taxes, Mayor Sheila Dixon and other local elected officials yesterday urged city residents to vote for a November ballot measure to expand gambling in the state.
October 11, 2008
Har Sinai Congregation will host a debate on the statewide slots referendum at 10:30 a.m. Sunday in the temple at 2905 Walnut Ave., Owings Mills. Fred Puddester, chairman of For Maryland For Our Future, will argue for passage of the referendum and Aaron Meisner, chairman of Stop Slots Maryland, will argue against it. Audience members will be able to ask questions. Information: 410-654-9393.
October 11, 2008
Unite Here, a union that represents workers in gambling and other service industries, plans to spend at least $10,000 on efforts to pass the statewide referendum on slot-machine gambling in November, according to a filing made with the Maryland State Board of Elections. Roxie Herbekian, associate director of the union's Mid-Atlantic region, said yesterday that the money will be spent to rent transportation and print literature for a door-to-door canvassing operation to urge voters to approve the ballot proposal legalizing slots. She also said the union might send pro-slots mailings to members. It has 4,300 members working in Maryland, including at Laurel Park race track, which is expected to seek a slots license if the ballot proposal passes.
March 13, 2008
A Senate committee voted almost unanimously yesterday to advance a bill seeking to ban slots-like video gambling machines that have proliferated throughout Maryland, setting the stage for the full Senate to take up the measure today.
August 31, 2008
As the November referendum on slots nears, Maryland voters can expect a barrage of warnings from proponents about what a "no" vote could mean: cuts to public education and health care, higher taxes and the demise of the state's horse racing legacy.
July 20, 2008
Stewart Bainum Jr., who fought the Maryland lottery as a state lawmaker, left politics more than two decades ago. But the multimillionaire and hotel magnate is still playing a role in the debate over gambling in Maryland - he recently cut a $10,000 check to an organization that's working to sway voters against slot machines in the November referendum.
May 30, 2008
Tom Chuckas spent his first official day as the president and chief operating officer of the Maryland Jockey Club in meetings, only to emerge yesterday to questions about his vision for the sport in Maryland.
4:02 PM EST, March 4, 2008
Comptroller Peter Franchot, who has long opposed the expansion of gambling in Maryland, called on lawmakers today to approve legislation that would ban video gambling machines by next year.
June 28, 2008
All's fair at the State Fair, the opposing sides of the slots fight agreed yesterday.
June 22, 2008
The state's November referendum on slot machines could come down to whose math voters believe
March 18, 2008
Comptroller Peter Franchot is pushing for Baltimore City and Baltimore County to stop providing licenses for thousands of video gambling machines that critics allege make illegal, "under the table" payouts in area bars and restaurants.
April 16, 2008
The Maryland Racing Commission yesterday urged the state to place slots at Laurel Park and Ocean Downs, the only two tracks eligible under legislation approved during a special General Assembly session last year.
November 3, 2007
Maryland lawmakers grilled aides to Gov. Martin O'Malley yesterday on his plan to allow up to 15,000 slot machines at five locations, raising questions about the proposed sites, local approval and the impact on the state's two thoroughbred racetracks.
March 14, 2008
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has told the leaders of the state's powerful teachers union that they need to support a November referendum to legalize slot machine gambling or be prepared for severe cuts in education funding.
March 16, 2008
The state teachers union voted late Friday night to support voter approval of slot machine gambling in a November referendum, the union announced yesterday.
March 12, 2008
Many of the electronic gambling machines that have proliferated across the state in recent months are illegal, according to an opinion released by Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's office Monday.
March 16, 2008
Lawmakers in Annapolis are moving to tighten up campaign reporting requirements for the November referendum on legalizing slot machines, as both sides gird for what's expected to be a free-spending battle to win voters.
March 4, 2008
Maryland's pro-slots forces are planning an eight-month campaign for a referendum on expanded gambling that they say would fix the state's budget problems and save horse racing. But those who stand to benefit most - the state's racetrack owners - are balking at the effort and saying that they might not participate in the push for the ballot measure.
February 27, 2008
They look like slots, they play like slots, they pay out like slots, and they have proliferated for years under a legal loophole.
November 3, 2007
Gulfstream Park, South Florida's major thoroughbred horse-racing track, installed slot machines last year, rows and rows of them. And gamblers came.
October 31, 2007
Anne Arundel County residents' opinions are decidedly mixed on Gov. Martin O'Malley's tax proposals to balance the state budget, with strong majorities favoring raising taxes on businesses and high-income earners but opposing increases in the sales and car-titling taxes, according to a new survey.
October 17, 2007
Around the country, ballot measures to allow slot machines or casinos usually fail, according to experts who study the issue.
October 31, 2007
An 11-acre warehouse district south of Baltimore's sports stadiums would become the home of a new slots facility under a proposal by Mayor Sheila Dixon's administration that officials said could cut city property taxes, The Sun has learned.