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Leopold Pulls Anne Arundel Slots Legislation For Now

Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold (R) today temporarily withdrew zoning legislation needed for operation of the largest slots parlor envisioned by the state, but pledged to reintroduce it within the month.

The decision effectively could extend debate well into the fall over the fate of a proposed 4,750-machine slots parlor at Arundel Mills Mall. The site is projected to generate more than $500 million a year in state revenue and about $30 million for the county, but has drawn opposition from some in surrounding neighborhoods, who are concerned about increased traffic and crime.

County legislation, including the zoning bill, had been languishing for weeks and was set to expire Aug. 14 if the county council did not act.

Leopold said in an interview that he remains confident that he will secure the four votes needed to pass the legislation.

Anne Arundel is one of five locations authorized by the state for slots parlors. The bid to operate at Arundel Mills is the only one pending before a state location commission for the Anne Arundel license. Laurel Park Racetrack initially filed to host the Anne Arundel machines, but the bid was disqualified when the company refused to pay a multimillion dollar fee.

By John Wagner  |  July 6, 2009; 5:14 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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