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Auction considered for Maryland slots

30 July 2007

RYLAND -- As reported by the Capital: "With one of Maryland's most powerful Democrats predicting slot machines will be used to ease the state's budget deficit, some Republicans are focusing on an 'auction' system they believe will give government the most money.

"Members of the minority party believe any legislation to legalize slots to help close the state's $1.5 billion deficit should be coupled with a competitive bidding process.

"Businesses should have to bid on either the operating licenses or the amount of slots earnings that would be set aside for the state, they say.

"...Slots have been at the center of a perennial debate in the General Assembly.

"Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Calvert, has predicted slots will be a part of any final budget solution, and Gov. Martin O'Malley would support a slots measure geared toward preserving the racing industry.

"But using a slots auction along with greater budget reductions is gaining traction in the minority party..."

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