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July 19, 2010

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.

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 3:10 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Slots
        

Comments

Who would want to go to slots at Rocky Gap when they could go to a beautiful full blown casino with table games in Charlestown,WV?

O'Malley's whole slots legislation has been a total waste. I will be surprised if they open a slot machine before the election. Oh well, what did I expect with the man who was against them before he was for them.

Charlestown it is.

Julie why did the state of Maryland ever buy a Resort to begin with?
Under what governor did this occur?
Is it profitable?
Seems like a reayly bad idea to me.

Its funny to me how no one remembers when Erlich was for slots and Omalley bashed the idea of it in this state....now Omalley is all for it...what a wishy washy loser of a guv

If you ask me, Maryland has wasted a lot of time and money..Go to Delaware Park & Dover Downs, all you see is Maryland Tags....Hurry up and put slots all over Maryland...

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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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