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February 4, 2010

Jockey Club says it can stop Arundel Mills casino

A coalition that includes the Maryland Jockey Club says it has submitted more than enough signatures to send a recent county zoning decision allowing a slot-machine emporium at Arundel Mills Mall to referendum -- meaning that voters might be able to reject it.

The Jockey Club, which partnered with resident activist groups to collect the necessary 18,790 signatures, says it has nearly 24,000. Tomorrow is the due date for at least half the signatures.

Those signatures must be verified by the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections before the zoning measure can be placed on the November ballot.

"Without question, there is overwhelming opposition by Anne Arundel County citizens to placing a casino at Arundel Mills Mall," Rob Annicelli, President of the citizens group Stop Slots at Arundel Mills, said in a Jockey Club news release. "The mall is not the right location for a slots casino and is not in the best interests of the citizens of Anne Arundel County. I would like to thank the volunteers and ask them to continue to collect signatures until the Board of Elections certifies the petition question."

The Jockey Club has been active in trying to stop a 4,750-machine facility planned by Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. Along with the bankrupt Magna Entertainment, the club bid on the sole Anne Arundel license, but the application was tossed from the competition because they failed to submit all of the necessary fees.

Horse racing officials have warned putting a casino at the mall would spell financial ruin for Laurel Park race track, which they say needs slot machines to stay viable. Presenting the track as marketable is of critical importance: It is up for sale. The auction has been delayed several times, and it's unclear this afternoon what further effect the petition could have.

David Cordish has already started the permitting process for building on a parking lot near the Arundel Mills food court. He has said that he expects the signature drive to fail.

Developing story. See Nicole Fuller's coverage in tomorrow's Baltimore Sun for more details.

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 4:22 PM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Slots


Horse racing is dead, period.

The jockey club ruined the preakness. i have no respect for them

There are only 2 useful options for slots in Md. The Idea is to make money for the state in revenues and taxes on big winners. The Only way to do that is Either #1 Have a casino or 2) Place slots into local establishments where the added profit will likely be spent in keeping the establishments in good order also placing increased money into the state on the taxes assessed to or earned by these establishments as well as helping the economy by paying contractors to perform the upgrades. This means even more jobs. It also means even more of the money staying right here in Maryland rather than in some Jockey Club or Casino. Every state around MD has “Gambling Parlors” at racetracks and nearly every one is a crap hole that has been kept open by slots. So while Maryland may keep some of their gamblers from going out of state to gamble, it is unlikely that they will attract anyone from out of state here. A Casino on the other hand can easily attract people from out of state. It can also lead to the possibility of World Series of Poker championships which can lead to other windfalls for the state such as television coverage and increased tourism for televised events. There is a very high potential for great things from a Casino and the sure thing of mediocrity for the Racetrack. The best thing would be to have the money spent locally in bars & clubs where the local proprietors or clubs would make the money instead of some rich Out of state Fat cat Casino Owner or Racetrack Owner

I guess I'll still be going to Delaware for the slots, I refuse to go to Laurel Park for slots!

Sounds like it is time to take a trip to the glue factory. The voters have spoken through their elected officials.

1) The WSOP will Never come to MD under any circumstances. WSOP is owned by Harrah's and their CEO already said when the Bidding started that Harrah's had no interest in coming to this state.

2) A Real Casino is also Unlikely, MD has already insisted on a VLT system instead of Real RNG Slots. In this way they can Pre-determine the amount of "Payback Percentage" to the players which as shown on the MD Lottery Website stands now at only 60.3%. That means if the Slots follow the same percentage, they will be Crappy. You cannot run Video Poker on a VLT system either, in other states VP is Legislated that it Must emulate the deal of a Real Deck, you can't do it on the system that MD wants.

3) In the same light Table Games have even less of a "House Edge" than Slots. I can't imagine the MD Pols permitting even more of an Advantage to the players, maybe the Automated Games that are out there but just as in VP, it'll just be a simulation of the game and not follow the true outcome that you get with a real deck.

In either case nothing will attract anyone from out of state to come here. Well maybe some from VA at some location south but certainly not PA.

As for me I'll still take my 2.5hr drive to AC where the Real Casinos are.

Let the people of Anne Arundel County decide. If Arundel Mills is such a popular place for a casino then allow the voters to say so. It was not discussed in 2008 as a potential site, so why not allow the public its say?

The people of AA county did decide. They voted 60% for the amendment. The amendment mentioned an area that included Laurel Park and other places. Whose fault is it that so many failed to read the amendment and sit down with a map?

Why not let the people decide? When was the mall site discussed in 2008. I think mall casino supporters know it is a loser.

Maybe the Cordish Co. should get a petition drive throughout Md. started that allows them to put an admendment to carry their license to Baltimore Co. They could place it at White Marsh Mall. Then AA County can start complaining about tax increases and stop whinig about traffic.

A vote in November can once and for all put the issue to bed. I personnaly think the zoning bill will go down in flames because it is bad public policy.

I feel like having slots in Arundel mill is not going to help the situation around Arundel mills. In the pass all you hear about on the news are the robberies, stabbings etc happening in that area. Having slots aren’t going make the crime rate go down probably increase. It’s a hot spot for teenager it would probably be worst. If they want to have a casino they should put it in a isolated area where security could be better. It would be great to bring more money in Maryland but placement in general a good place.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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