Jim Henry

Md. yet to distribute $3.6M in slots funds for small businesses

Nearly two years after Maryland's first casino opened, the state has yet to dole out any of the $3.6 million in slots revenue that has accumulated for small, minority- and women-owned businesses, frustrating advocates and lawmakers.

State officials are still working on a program to distribute the money as capital investments or loans to small businesses, a process that Baltimore Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden criticized as being too slow.

"What's taking so long?" asked McFadden, who inquired about the money last month in a letter to Gov. Martin O'Malley. "Everyone needs to benefit. I'm very concerned."

Small-business advocates and some lawmakers say the...