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Maryland gets only six slot bids

3 February 2009

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland -- As reported by The (Baltimore) Sun: "Six companies proposed yesterday to build Maryland slots parlors with a total of 10,550 gambling machines - far short of the 15,000 maximum slot machines allowed under a constitutional amendment adopted last year.

"When bids for slots licenses were unsealed in Annapolis, only one of the five authorized locations, Anne Arundel County, received more than one bid. The four other sites, in Baltimore City and Allegany, Cecil and Worcester counties, have one applicant each, said Donald C. Fry, head of a commission that will choose winning proposals.

"The event was the biggest step in months in Maryland's years-long slog toward slots, which state officials are counting on to bring in $600 million in annual revenue. About two dozen boxes were carted into the Department of Legislative Services building as the minutes ticked down to the 2 p.m. deadline.

"House of Delegates Speaker Michael E. Busch called yesterday's proposals 'a pretty good start.'

"But Jeffrey Hooke, a Bethesda-based gambling analyst, said the number of applications 'has got to be highly disappointing for the state...'"

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