Md. chamber joins fight for slots

The Baltimore Sun

The Maryland Chamber of Commerce yesterday joined the coalition of interests that will fight for passage of a November referendum to legalize slot machine gambling in the state.

Chamber officials announced yesterday that they would join with the Maryland Association of Counties, the Maryland State Teachers Association, several labor unions and the racing industry as part of the For Maryland, For Our Future ballot committee, which is pushing the referendum.

"As Maryland's leading statewide business advocacy organization, the Maryland Chamber supports passage of the slots referendum as a reasonable alternative to tax increases," Maryland Chamber Chairman Betty Buck, president of Buck Distributing Co. Inc., said in a written statement. "Maryland cannot afford to keep sending hundreds of millions of dollars out of state. People will spend their money on this type of entertainment - regardless of the outcome of this referendum. It is our view that our state should recapture the millions being spent today in Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia."

Voters will consider in November whether to allow 15,000 of the machines in five locations: one each in Baltimore City and Allegany, Anne Arundel, Cecil and Worcester counties.

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