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Maryland governor says Arundel holding up slots

7 August 2009

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland -- As reported by The (Baltimore) Sun: "Gov. Martin O'Malley told members of the state's horse-racing and breeding industry Thursday that Anne Arundel County's indecision on rezoning land adjacent to Arundel Mills mall was delaying the process of getting what is the largest proposed slots parlor under way.

"Speaking to a group of 250 during the Maryland Horse Forum at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, O'Malley said the entire slots initiative, which includes four other locations, "is kind of gummed up" by the Anne Arundel County Council tabling further discussion on the issue until the fall.

"The Baltimore-based developer, Cordish Cos., has proposed building an elaborate casino with almost 5,000 slot machines near the Arundel mall, but the County Council has been divided over rezoning the land to make that possible.

"Laurel Park, whose bid to bring slots machines to the racetrack was tossed out by the state's slots commission because its owner failed to submit the required licensing fees, filed a lawsuit over the matter, which further added to the delay. The state's highest court ruled last month that the dispute should be reviewed by the state contracting board before being litigated in the courts.

"'It's very frustrating,' O'Malley said of the Arundel situation during a 30-minute question-and-answer session after his keynote speech. 'They were waiting for the court, and then the court said, 'We're not going to be the County Council for you, you all need to make a decision.' You've told them to make a decision, the courts have told them to make a decision, we're urging them to make a decision, we need them to make a decision...'"

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