Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Arundel Rolls The Dice On Slots

From WaPo:

Anne Arundel County Council Chairman Cathleen M. Vitale said Monday that she hopes to break a stalemate by the end of the year over zoning legislation needed to build Maryland's largest proposed slots casino at Arundel Mills mall.

Council member Ronald C. Dillon Jr. (R-Pasadena) and Vitale (R-Severna Park) planned to introduce competing legislation Monday night: one bill that would allow slots at the mall, and one that would allow slots at several other locations in the county south of Route 32, including at Laurel Park racetrack.

Only one qualified plan, an effort by Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. to put 4,750 slot machines at the mall, is pending before the state commission charged with picking the locations of Maryland's five slots operators.

Vitale said that she has come to think that "slots at Arundel Mills is a more difficult site than people initially thought."

David S. Cordish said he is confident that his company will secure the needed zoning, saying it "is far and away the best location for the county and state."

A bill that would have allowed zoning at the mall languished for months before the County Council earlier this year. Neither Dillon nor Vitale said they could guarantee the outcome of a December vote by the seven-member council. An unfavorable result for Cordish could prompt the state commission to reopen bidding.

-- John Wagner

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