Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Columbia's Little Vegas

There's always been a certain "charm" to the Route 1 corridor, what with its gritty mix of cut-rate motels, bingo halls, massage parlors, and, of course, the horse track at Laurel.

Now, the gov wants to add slot machines.

The Examiner says in this story that O'Malley's plan would bring to Laurel Park 4,250 of 15,000 slot machines statewide. The gov claims he wants the millions of dollars generated to pay for schools and save the horse industry.

Some Anne Arundel officials worry that the move could be a distraction to economic development efforts. But the executive director of the West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce says she supports well-regulated slots as a last-resort remedy to improve the area.

“I’m more concerned about the infrastructure around the track, which is discouraging," Claire Louder told the paper. "Places like Biloxi, Miss., and Las Vegas seem to do just fine.”

Now there's a vision for downtown Columbia.

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