House OKs slots money for track operation
The House of Delegates today gave initial approval to a governor-backed proposal to allow horse track owners to use slots revenue for day-to-day operating expenses instead of capital improvements.
Gov. Martin O'Malley sought the legislation after brokering a last-minute deal to keep horse racing alive in Maryland this year. Supporters say the bill aims to help the Maryland Jockey Club and Penn National Gaming, new owner of the Rosecroft harness-racing track, maintain full racing schedules amid financial struggles.
But opponents argue the racing industry has wasted state money by suing to block a casino at Arundel Mills Mall. The Jockey Club had sought Anne Arundel County's sole slots license for its Laurel Park race track.
The plan could gain final House approval Monday and remains under consideration in the Senate's Budget and Taxation Committee.