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Baltimore gaming poll results released

8 November 2007

BALTIMORE,Maryland -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- A majority of voters in Baltimore City favor allowing slots gaming in the city, but not at the Inner Harbor, according to a poll commissioned by the Greater Baltimore Committee.

Of 409 city voters interviewed between October 30 and November 2 by Gonzales Research and Marketing Strategies on behalf of the Greater Baltimore Committee, 57 percent favor allowing slots in Baltimore City, while 37 percent are opposed.

However, if slots are legalized, less than half of voters interviewed - 47 percent - favor slots at the Inner Harbor, while 53 percent oppose the location.

If slots are legalized, 68 percent favor putting them in an area "away from homes and close to a major highway," a description that would include a south Baltimore site that is among five potential Maryland slots venues proposed in legislation now before the Maryland General Assembly's special session.

Poll results also indicate that:

-- 65 percent of respondents say they would favor slots "if revenues were used to improve Baltimore City public schools;"

-- 64 percent say they would favor slots "if it meant a significant reduction in property tax city residents pay."

The Greater Baltimore Committee, the region's most prominent organization of business and civic leaders, commissioned the poll as part of its long-standing study of expanding gaming in Maryland, its economic impacts, and its potential to raise revenue for the state and local governments.

"With slots legislation being a major element of the special session, we wanted to measure current attitudes and perceptions of city residents on the issue," said Greater Baltimore Committee President & CEO Donald C. Fry. "This poll appears to indicate that there is support for slots within the city, particularly if revenue from slots is dedicated to education or to reducing taxes."

Respondents to the poll were selected at random. Interviews were balanced between legislative districts to reflect the demographic characteristics of the city's electorate. The poll's results have a plus or minus 5 percent margin of error.

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