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Posted at 7:38 PM ET, 12/ 4/2009

Slots and Arundel Mills: A winning combination

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Gregg Goodman,
President, The Mills — A Simon Company

Shopping centers located near casinos are among the most vibrant in the country. One need only look at our Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas or the retail entertainment district at the Cordish Cos. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., to know that this synergy leads to both successful retailers and casinos owners — and city and state governments that are thrilled with their increased tax revenue. So be skeptical when you hear suggestions that casinos don’t belong near shopping centers.

This synergy brings meaningful benefits for the communities surrounding these facilities. With the proposed Arundel Mills casino, Anne Arundel County would benefit from 4,000 jobs on top of millions of dollars in tax revenue (much of it from out-of-towners). And, remember, Arundel Mills already has the infrastructure in place to support the project; a casino at this site would have the least environmental impact of any in the county.

How about the impact on the mall itself? To be clear, the casino would in no way diminish the family-friendly environment there, because the two facilities would not be physically connected. Gaming would not be accessible from the mall.

Arundel Mills is already a major East Coast destination, and we would do nothing to jeopardize this success. But shopping centers must change and grow to remain the tax-generating powerhouses on which their communities rely. Quite simply, joining forces with the Cordish Cos. to build a first-class gaming, dining and entertainment venue next to Arundel Mills makes sense, both for our businesses and for Anne Arundel and the D.C. region.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | December 4, 2009; 7:38 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland, slots  
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Comments

Apparently Mr. Goodman has never visited his own mall on a weekend afternoon when parking is impossible and traffic is grid-locked. Comparing a family-friendly venue like Arundel Mills Mall to Vegas indicates just how little he knows about our neighborhood mall. It's a place where kids and families visit... not appropriate for a gambling destination!

Posted by: douglasp | December 5, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Come on. You don't need a mall.

You just want enough alcohol so a person can get drunk before they toss the rent money away.

We will all be rich.

By and by.

Posted by: gary4books | December 6, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, the old money, profit, growth, and big-business argument. At the expense of people, family, community, and values. I thought that was out of style in today's economy? Somehow I don't find this argument from someone who stands to profit from a project, to be all that compelling when it comes to a local zoning issue. The fact is that the same jobs would exist regardless of where this casino is located. If more infrastructure is needed elsewhere, then it would mean even MORE jobs, as people would need to work to create that infrastructure, at the Casino developer's expense. If the Mall is already a successful shopping center and tax-generating power house, why not put the Casino where it can help to bring another failing facility (Race Track) up? Why not invest in growth for an area that needs economic stimulation, instead of an area that is already booming? Oh, I remember, Greed.

Posted by: PVanderVossen | December 6, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

How wonderful....shop, gamble cause traffic havoc all at the same time!!! Why doesn't EVERYONE put the slots where they belong.....at the race tracks. Those who voted to bring slots to Maryland wanted to keep the horseracing industry alive here. Not have slots put at a Mall. We repeated get warnings on safety issues at Arundel Mills and now they want to add to the problems. MINORS go to Malls, they DO NOT go to the tracks!!! GET REAL...The jobs opened up by the casino are going to be cancelled out by all the jobs lost at the tracks. Keeping slots at the tracks will keep the jobs that are already there and add to the ones opened up by the casinos. The racing industry has been a vital part of this state for years, lets not see it die. Charlestown, Dover they all have increased revenues and built up their raceways by adding casinos not by putting gambling in shopping malls. Remember, most of the grey-haired Moms of the State Representatives are on those buses that take our senior population to spend money out of our state and make those other states more profitable and more attactive for retirees. GET SMART, if that is possible, PUT SLOTS WHERE THEY BELONG, AT THE TRACKS!!!

Posted by: jordan76 | December 7, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Slots are fine, but not at Ann Arundel Mills. This mall and area are not like Las Vegas, not even like Charlestown. First of all parking at the mall is impossible on the weekends and very roudy. Most of the security in this area by no means compares. When I walk down the strip in Vegas, I didn't worry nearly as much as I do near local malls in our area. I can see it now, being jacked at your car once you leave the casino because you've been cased.

Posted by: lidiworks1 | December 9, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

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