Slots at BWI
Del. Eric Bromwell has a bill in that would call for BWI-Marshall airport to be included as a possible slots site, with up to 3,000 machines, a la the airport in Vegas.
Does this have a chance in hell? No. But it does dredge up a point from the 2007 debate over the slots constitutional amendment that may look different to people now. Bromwell's bill would require a constitutional amendment because the locations specified for slots sites are now enshried in the state constitution. At the time, those squeamish about slots counted that as a virtue because it would limit the potential for gambling to creep into other areas and gave all voters in the state a say in whether casinos would end up in their backyards.
But given the lackluster response to the bidding for slots licenses, it's a fair question to wonder whether granting more flexibility in the locations might have been a good thing. There are other protections in the legislation that would help keep slots out of undesireable locations (local zoning control still applies, no more than one parlor can be in one jurisdiction, and the licensing commission has the ultimate say on whether a bid is accepted).
A lot has changed since November 2007 -- the collapse of the economy, the renewal of Maryland's budget crisis, etc. -- that could have changed attitudes about where slots can and can't go, and who knows what the future may bring? I have a hard time imagining people being willing to change the constitution again so soon, but I wonder how many lawmakers, if they had to do it over again, would have adovcated putting the locations in the state code, not the constitution.
Update: Laura Smitherman reports
Gov says no way: O'Malley called it a "bad idea" and said that even though the bidding was not as robust as state officials had hoped, the slots commission should be allowed to do its job. "I am not in favor of slots at the airport, but it is one of those ideas that sometimes comes bouncing across the floor here."
Like I said, ain't gonna happen.