The county Board of Appeals has denied the owners of 49er Bingo Hall in Brooklyn Park a license to operate.
"I'm not going to give up on it," co-owner Leonard J. Buchheit said yesterday. He said his next step is to file suit against the county in Circuit Court.
"I had it [owning a bingo hall] as a dream and goal of my life and I won't quit on it now," said Mr. Buchheit, a Brooklyn Park resident who purchased a share of the 43-year-old Church Street building in 1989.
Mr. Buchheit and John James Snead Jr. of Glen Burnie asked the county Board of Appeals last April to renew the bingo hall's operating permit after county licensing officials returned their application package without considering it.
County officials have maintained that 49er Bingo's license lapsed in 1989; after that, there was no license to renew.
Although the appeals board has not issued a written decision, its members voted 4-2 on June 15 to deny the renewal, county records of that meeting show. County ordinance requires a written opinion be issued within 60 days of the hearing.
County officials say the owners will have to compete with other would-be bingo operators for the county's sixth and final bingo license. Anne Arundel County is the only jurisdiction in the
country outside of Indian reservations that allows for-profit bingo.
Mr. Snead and Mr. Buchheit also could run into zoning problems if the bingo hall, which is in a residential neighborhood, is seen as a new use rather than a continuing enterprise.
The attempt by Stephen B. Paskind, the owner of Bingo World, a competing bingo parlor on Belle Grove Road, to take over 49er Bingo in 1989 complicated efforts by Mr. Snead and Mr. Buchheit to renew the license on their own.
County officials are attempting to push Mr. Paskind, who has been linked by federal officials to organized crime figures convicted of laundering money through Bingo World, out of Anne Arundel County.
When Mr. Paskind applied for the 49er license, it became mired in a legal battle that has kept the 49er and former Glen Burnie bingo halls closed.
Ironically, Mr. Paskind's Bingo World has remained open. County officials currently are trying to block the sale of Mr. Paskind's license to an investment group that includes Millersville developer Ernest J. "Jay" Litty and Mr. Paskind's former attorney.
"I thought I had done everything right, and here this other outfit hasn't been closed 10 minutes," Mr. Buchheit said.