Sierra Club Rejects Slots
The Maryland chapter of the Sierra Club has voiced its opposition to the state's November referendum on slot-machine gambling, which would authorize up to 15,000 machines at five locations.
In a statement, the group said its greatest concern is a potential site in Rocky Gap State Park in Allegany County, calling the prospect "outrageous."
The 3,000-acre park "is a wonderful natural resource for all Marylanders and should not be developed into a casino location under any circumstances," the Sierra Club said. A lodge adjacent to the park has been struggling financially for years.
The group also objected to other sites being located in rural areas, saying it that was not consistent with the state's Smart Growth policies. The other four sites voters will be asked to authorize are in Baltimore and Anne Arundel, Cecil and Worcester counties.
Some slots supporters have argued that expanded gambling could actually preserve more open space by propping up the horse racing industry, thus keeping horse farms afloat and out of the hands of developers
The slots effort has won the backing of several interests groups, including teachers, county officials and labor unions.
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