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Anti-slots group planning petition on Arundel site

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If a local zoning bill passes Monday night allowing slots at Arundel Mills mall, an anti-slots group says it will launch a petition drive with the hope of delaying -- and later derailing -- the bill's implementation.

Like other Maryland jurisdictions, Anne Arundel County allows residents to challenge legislation through a ballot drive, by collecting signatures equal in number to 10 percent of the votes cast in the county in the last gubernatorial election. If the group, known as Stop Slots at Arundel Mills, is able to gather enough names, Anne Arundel voters would get a say on the zoning bill in November.

The odds of overturning the council seem long.

Last year, a statewide ballot issue authorizing slots at five locations in Maryland -- including one in Anne Arundel -- passed with the support of 59 percent of county voters.

But anti-slots activists in the county argue that most people assumed slots would go to Laurel Park racetrack.

"Maryland voters in 2008 never intended for Maryland to be the first state to permit slots at a traditional suburban shopping mall," the group said in a news release Monday.

The group's release comes amid mounting speculation that the council, after months of delays, could pass a bill Monday night allowing slots at the mall site. Stay tuned.

By John Wagner  |  December 21, 2009; 11:46 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner , Slots  
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Next: Maryland Jockey Club vows to 'continue this fight'

Comments

Can the zoning bill be passed as an emergency bill? Emergency bills go into effect immediately regardless of any referendum petition.

Slots supporters might want to make this thing look like a fait accompli in case of a referendum.

Posted by: member8 | December 21, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

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