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O'Malley hoping for Monday night slots vote

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State officials, including the highest-ranking one, will be paying close attention Monday night as the Anne Arundel County Council deliberates on a zoning bill needed to build Maryland's largest planned slots casino.

"Hopefully they'll make a decision," Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) told reporters Monday morning. "We need Anne Arundel County to make a land-use decision so we can all move forward."

Some council members have raised the prospect of delaying a vote again on the measure, which would allow a 4,750-machine casino at Arundel Mills mall. Under the county charter, action can not take place after midnight, and a large contingent of supports and opponents are expected to testify at the 7 p.m. meeting.

O'Malley did not say whether he would like to see the bill pass or fail, but he restated his preference as a candidate in 2006 that slot machines be "restricted" to racetracks. Legislation passed in 2007 allowed the possibility of other locations.

"Were I writing the legislation myself, I would have written it differently," O'Malley said.
Many thought Laurel Park was the most likely site for an Anne Arundel license, but a bid by the track owners was disqualified in February because it did not include a required $28.5 million licensing fee.

By John Wagner  |  December 7, 2009; 12:22 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner , Slots  
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