Slots update: State to seek new bidder for Rocky Gap
The state commission that selects the development teams for Maryland's five slot-machine parlors said Monday that it expects this week to release a request for proposals for an available site in Western Maryland.
The developer would be licensed by the end of the year, the slots commission hopes, and could quickly begin building a 1,500-terminal facility at Rocky Gap State Park in Allegany County.
No one put forward a complete application during the first round of slots licensing almost two years ago. This year, the Maryland General Assembly reduced the tax rate for only Rocky Gap in hopes of attracting a bidder.
To speed the selection process, slots commission chairman Donald C. Fry said interested parties would have to submit a $100,000 deposit and background information on the development team members 45 days before the RFP due date in early November.
Other slots issues dicussed at the commission meeting Monday included the failed bid for a slots emporium near the sports stadiums in Baltimore. In December, the slots commission rejected a bid by the Baltimore City Entertainment Group because it had failed to meet deadlines for submitting plans and licensing payments.
BCEG, which included former Maryland Democratic Party chairman Michael Cryor, Canadian homebuilder Michael Moldenhauer and several local developers, has appealed the rejection, and the board of contract appeals will consider the case over at least four days at the end of September.
The lottery commission, which oversees the vetting of slots developers, also said BCEG owes more than $200,000 in fees for the background investigation, Fry said.
Fry said the slots commission must weigh the potential "chilling effect" BCEG's appeal before putting together a new request for proposals for the 3,750-terminal facility, which would be one of the biggest and most lucrative in the state.
The other large slots development, a 4,750-machine emporium near Arundel Mills Mall, is tangled in court proceedings.
Fry said the state's first slots project, Hollywood Casino in Cecil County, is on track to open this fall. The slots commission will tour the 1,500-machine building at the end of September. An invitation-only slots demonstration will be held Sept. 25.