Maryland Voters OK Zoning for Mall Slots

Plans for a slots parlor near a Maryland mall will progress after a Nov. 2 vote.

Voters in Anne Arundel County, Md., approved a ballot measure that grants zoning for a slot machine casino at the Arundel Mills Mall.

Maryland Jockey Club officials had lobbied for defeat of the measure in the hope Laurel Park would get another shot at the slots license.

“The people of Anne Arundel County have spoken,” MJC president Tom Chuckas said in a statement. “While we continue to believe that Laurel is the optimum location for (slots) in Anne Arundel County, the Maryland Jockey Club will now consider its options going forward, and we will consult with the Maryland Racing Commission to enact the changes required as a result of this lost opportunity at Laurel.”

Before the vote Chuckas said Laurel could close for live racing, meaning about 120 racing dates per year would be lost. Pimlico Race Course would hold a 40-day meet, he said.

The Maryland racing industry will benefit from slots at five parlors in the state. Racing will get 7% of slots revenue up to $100 million a year.

The vote, according to published reports, was 103,263 in favor of the mall project and 82,008 against.