Bidders are required to write a check for $22.5 million — an amount that for most groups necessitates the backing of a gambling or investment firm.

Only two of the five slots casinos approved by voters have opened. In their first months of operation, revenues at the Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County and at Ocean Downs near Ocean City have fallen short of expectations.

A third casino is under construction at Arundel Mills mall. The state is looking for a developer to run a fourth at Rocky Gap in Western Maryland.

The new deadline for Baltimore bids is also the day that proposals are due for Rocky Gap. That project is in its third round of bidding.

The Baltimore license poses a specific challenge: The winning bidder must accept terms laid out by both the state and the city.

The winner of the Baltimore slots license would be required to give the city 2.99 percent of the profits on top of the 67 percent of revenue the state is collecting from the other large casinos. (Officials reduced the rate this year on Rocky Gap in the hope of attracting bidders.)

Potential bidders for the Baltimore license have criticized the requirements.

A new wrinkle arose this month when Moldenhauer filed a federal lawsuit alleging that requirements for minority- and women-owned business participation discriminate against companies owned by white men.

Developers say meeting the requirement has been challenging because there are a limited number of minority-owned firms in the gambling industry.

Fry said it is "too early to tell" whether the Baltimore bid specifications will be changed.

Local developer Jim Seay, who attended the commission meeting with partner Patrick Turner, said their group hopes that the state will use the deadline extension "to make the overall business model more attractive to the investment community."

Turner and Seay are well known in Baltimore's business circles: Turner built the gleaming Silo Point luxury condominiums in Locust Point.

Seay owns Premier Rides, a company that builds amusement park rides and attractions. He went to Asia recently on a trade mission led by Gov. Martin O'Malley.

"Our local development team which includes MGM was certainly working diligently toward the anticipated submittal date," Seay wrote in an email. "Our team has invested significantly in the process in both time and expense."

Baltimore Sun reporter Julie Scharper contributed to this article.

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