Maryland Bill Seeks Slots at 2 'Non-Racetrack' Facilities

Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich asked the state legislature on Monday to authorize slot machines at two "non-racetrack destination locations" in addition to four racetracks in the state.

The two non-racetrack locations, which would sit along Interstate 95, would be allowed a combined 4,000 slot machines, according to a bill proposed by Ehrlich late Monday. A commission appointed by the governor would determine the exact location of the facilities, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Under the governor's plan, 11,500 slot machines would be divided among three racetracks and another that is proposed for construction in Western Maryland. That is a 35% more slot machines than a bill the governor supported last year, which passed the Senate but was defeated by the House.

A draft of a House report on slots that distances slot machines from the horse racing industry is expected to be considered in committee Tuesday. The report, which was largely influenced by House Speaker Michael Busch, calls for slot machines to be housed in five to six state-owned facilities.

"Since limiting video lottery terminals to racetracks only is not essential to the future success of the horse racing industry, video gaming locations beyond racetracks should be strongly considered," the report reads.