Arundel voters: Please vote no

The fate of slots at Arundel Mills Mall now rests exclusively in the hands of residents of Anne Arundel County; those in adjacent counties will not see the question on their ballots on Nov. 2.

This Howard County resident would vote no if he could. I plead with Anne Arundelians to vote no for your neighbors who cannot vote on the question.

I oppose gambling on moral grounds, and it saddens me that my children's public education would be funded by proceeds from slots, casinos, lotteries and racing. A society that allows that has its priorities grossly misaligned.

I would respectfully suggest that Maryland's "Greatest Generation" of retirees, many of whom seem intent on gambling as a harmless diversion, consider setting a better example for the younger generations whose eyes are still upon you. You did not win World War II for the world by rolling the dice or pulling the lever.

Citizens of our state who need employment but who are morally opposed to gambling will not apply for jobs at Arundel Mills slots or any other gambling venture. Policies of the state of Maryland and businesses of all sizes should foster the creation of jobs that all citizens can take advantage of without having to leave their beliefs at the door.

I visit Arundel Mills Mall several times per month. I will no longer shop there if a slots parlor is built in the parking lot, which happens to be nearest the section of the mall I regularly park and shop in. I would not consider it a safe environment to bring my children into, even if the slots are housed in a separate facility. Casinos and slots can be magnets for those wishing to spend cash proceeds from illegal drug or gang activity, especially so close to the city centers of Baltimore and Washington.

The residents of nearby new home developments are against slots so close to their homes, which predate the proposal of slots at this site. I wish to respect their desires to shield their neighborhood from the negative impact of slots.

In peak shopping times such as weekends in November and December, every parking space is used, including overflow unpaved lots. The fact that developer David Cordish would knowingly harm customers' ability to access the mall is indicative to me that profit is driving this project rather than common sense, safety and consideration of all points of view.

I realize that there are many in our state who favor gambling establishments for various reasons. Locating gambling at isolated and sensible sites will minimize some attendant negative elements, and is an acceptable compromise for all the citizens of Maryland. Putting one in the parking lot of the state's most visited shopping mall is highly disrespectful of those against gambling and is wrong headed in every sense.

Residents of Anne Arundel County, we are all counting on you to vote no to slots at Arundel Mills.

Randall Campora, Ellicott City

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