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Baltimore casino planned for 5,000

26 August 2009

BALTIMORE, Maryland -- As reported by The (Baltimore) Sun: "The development team hoping to build a casino in Baltimore plans to construct a two-story slots parlor on Russell Street that could accommodate 5,000 gamblers, according to a preliminary design unveiled at a community meeting Tuesday.

"The plan calls for construction of a five-story, 2,500-space parking garage, according to members of Baltimore City Entertainment Group, which applied for Baltimore's video lottery terminal license, one of five available statewide. The $50 million garage would be financed through city-issued parking revenue bonds that developers would repay with gambling profits.

"The meeting at the nearby Gaslight Square building - a monthly gathering of neighborhood representatives called the Local Development Council whose communities would be affected by the new casino - was the first public hearing since the city allowed developers to move the proposed casino from a more remote parcel to the larger Russell Street location. The move would allow the developers to install 3,750 video lottery machines instead of the 500 they initially proposed and is expected to increase the revenues the city will earn in taxes and ground rent.

"But some developers have protested the location switch. They say they were not aware that the more visible parcel was available when they were determining whether to seek a Baltimore license. Owners of the Laurel Park racetrack in Anne Arundel County, who want the bidding process reopened, called the switch 'patently unfair...'"

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