Alternative gaming at Rosecroft?

Daily Record

Greenbelt developer Mark R. Vogel would reinstate live racing at Rosecroft Raceway and plans to push for alternative gaming there if he succeeds in buying the bankrupt harness racing track.

“We’re working to get a deal structured where I’m putting up enough money so we can start live racing next year,” Vogel said Monday.

He added he is also hoping for revenue from slots to start coming in next year to boost the track’s purses.

“So the goal is to show Rosecroft can be a prominent live racing venue again,” he said.

Vogel, who owned Rosecroft in the late 1980s and early 1990s, would not elaborate on what alternative gaming he was considering except to say he was meeting with community members on the topic and looking beyond slot machines.

Slots zoning changes pass on 2nd reading

The Baltimore City Council gave its approval on second reader [sic] to two bills Monday night designed to change the city’s zoning laws to allow slot machines in South Baltimore.

The bills will allow a zoning code change to pave the way for a Video Lottery Terminal facility just south of M&T Bank Stadium.


Monday night’s action sets the table for final passage of the two bills.

Arundel Mills slots zoning vote delayed

The Anne Arundel County Council has delayed a vote on a zoning bill that would allow a slots parlor next to Arundel Mills mall.

The council delayed the vote Monday, because one council member is recovering from surgery and the lengthy testimony.

The earliest the council plans to vote is April 20.

The Arundel Mills mall bid is the largest the state has received, accounting for 4,750 of the 6,550 slot machines proposed. The council is divided, with three members for the plan, two opposed and two undecided.

Councilman Daryl Jones, who is undecided and whose district includes the mall, talked about adding amendments to the zoning bill.

Laurel could still get slots

Daily Record

Laurel Racing Association’s rejected bid to operate a slot machine parlor in Anne Arundel County could remain alive if the company wins a court challenge against the state even though Laurel’s parent filed for bankruptcy last week.

Magna Entertainment Corp., based in Ontario, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday, a move anticipated by many in the racing industry. The company had been in default on one loan, had another $40 million loan due last Thursday, and had two other loans worth $186 million due later this month. In Chapter 11 bankruptcy, companies generally continue operating while they restructure their debts.

Laurel, meanwhile, is suing the state’s Video Lottery Facility Location Commission in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, challenging the application requirements. The company did not include $28.5 million application fees when it asked permission to build a 3,000-slot machine facility at its Laurel Park race track.

The company has raised concerns about its ability to recover the money if its application is rejected or if it can’t get the necessary approvals to build its project.

The commission said last month that it would not consider Laurel’s application because the company had not included the fee. The state later agreed in court that the commission would hold the application pending the outcome of the suit.

If the application is reinstated, Laurel would still have to compete with the Baltimore-based Cordish Cos., which has asked for permission to operate 4,750 machines at Arundel Mills mall.

Slots at BWI?

Maryland Politics

Del. Eric Bromwell has a bill in that would call for BWI-Marshall airport to be included as a possible slots site, with up to 3,000 machines, a la the airport in Vegas.

Does this have a chance in hell? No. But it does dredge up a point from the 2007 debate over the slots constitutional amendment that may look different to people now. Bromwell’s bill would require a constitutional amendment because the locations specified for slots sites are now enshried in the state constitution. At the time, those squeamish about slots counted that as a virtue because it would limit the potential for gambling to creep into other areas and gave all voters in the state a say in whether casinos would end up in their backyards.


Update: Laura Smitherman reports

Gov says no way: O’Malley called it a “bad idea” and said that even though the bidding was not as robust as state officials had hoped, the slots commission should be allowed to do its job. “I am not in favor of slots at the airport, but it is one of those ideas that sometimes comes bouncing across the floor here.”

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