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Consultant Says 15,000 Slot Machines Still Doable

A newly hired consultant to a state slot-machine location commission expressed optimism today that Maryland would eventually reach its goal of 15,000 machines.

The state currently has only four qualified bids to operate five slots sites and requests to use only 6,550 of the 15,000 machines that voters authorized in November.

Michael French, a principal with PricewaterhouseCoopers, told the commission that the economy and depressed capital markets seemed largely to blame for the anemic bid results.

Once that situation changes, "there might be a renewed interest," he said, saying 15,000 machines "is not that many."

An investor group bidding on a site in Baltimore has recently restated its interest in increasing the number of machines there from 500 to 3,750 but has not formally notified the commission of a change.

The commission plans to discuss at its next meeting whether to accept new bids for a site adjacent to Rocky Gap Lodge in Allegany County. That site received no qualified bids.

By John Wagner  |  April 28, 2009; 3:10 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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