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September 17, 2010

A.G.'s office will work quickly on Cecil slots inquiry

The office of state Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said Friday it would work “expeditiously” to provide legal guidance to state regulators inquiring into allegations that Penn National Gaming inappropriately interfered with another company’s plans for a slots casino in Anne Arundel County.

Penn National has approval to open the state’s first slots parlor later this month in Cecil County, but says it might wait for the results of the inquiry before it cuts any ribbons. Penn National co-owns the Maryland Jockey Club, which has financed a campaign against Cordish’s proposed project, in hopes of steering Anne Arundel’s sole slots license to Laurel race track.

“We understand there’s an urgency to this decision so we will try to accommodate it,” said Raquel Guillory, a spokeswoman for the attorney general.

The request, from Stephen L. Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery, asks the attorney general to issue a ruling on whether Penn National’s actions violate the RFP, and if so, can the lottery commission take action, said Guillory.

Representatives for Penn National have said the inquiry could delay the planned Sept. 30 opening of its 1,500-slots parlor in Perryville, saying they wanted to await the opinion before moving forward, but declined Friday to offer specifics about the timeline of the casino’s opening.

"We're still assessing all of our options," said Karen M. Bailey, a spokeswoman for Penn National.

The state Lottery Commission voted at its Thursday meeting to request an opinion from the attorney general following Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. claims that Penn National’s involvement in a campaign to prevent slots at Arundel Mills mall violates Penn National’s contract with the state.

The commission also approved a conditional license for Penn National to open its casino. A Penn National executive requested that the commission forgo issuing the license until the allegations were settled, but the commission declined.

Anne Arundel voters will decide whether the project slots at Arundel Mills go forward when they vote on a ballot referendum in November.

-Nicole Fuller

Posted by Andy Rosen at 6:43 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: In The Counties, Slots


Penn National is dirty. They only care about keeping business out of Maryland.

I know MOM is very anxious to get the slots barn open in Perryville before the election. He needs it as an Election Issue (see I got it done, Ehrlich didn't.. It will also be very interesting to watch the behind the scenes pressure the the O'Malley administration puts on the Lottery Commision and the AG to "move Forward" with the opening.
Of course all of the Penn National/Maryland Jockey Club interference with the Cordish bid was in violation their RFP with the state and probably also broken several laws which may end up being criminally prosecuted.

The bad news is by the time O'Malley actually gets slots money flowing in won't be anywhere close to the $700M the State budgeted, probably $325M is a better estimate.

I see more taxes in our future.

Cordish is dirty, spreading misinformation about the Jockey Club's true intent. They want slots at Laurel Park.

And why exactly does Laurel Park deserve slots at all. Their owner- well co-owner now that Penn National is involved- Magna Entertainment Corporation failed to play by the rules. They failed to submit the required $28.5 million bidding fee and subsequently filed for bankruptcy. Then in an incredibly shady move, transferred all of their assets to their parent company, Magna International. This is nothing more than an attempt to cheat to get a 2nd chance. They don't care one bit about the horse racing industry. Look at how bad they've mismanage the tracks up until this point. Do you think they won't run slots here in Anne Arundel County into the ground?

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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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