Maryland Governor Introduces Slots Bill

Gov. Robert Ehrlich of Maryland introduced a bill Thursday that would allow for 10,500 slot machines to be installed at racetracks in the state. Track operators would receive about 25% of slot revenue -- which is projected to be $1.6 billion by 2006 -- and horsemen would receive 8%.

Pimlico, Laurel Park, and Rosecroft Raceway would each have 3,000 slots on the grounds and a new track in western Maryland would be granted 1,500 slot machines, the Washington Post reports. A one-time licensing fee of $100 million would have to be paid by Pimlico, Laurel, and Rosecroft and the new track in Cumberland would have to ante up $50 million.

Ehrlich said he believes the bill will receive bipartisan support from the state legislature and would likely be passed this spring. Senate president Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. aid he was "satisfied" with the plan and hearing on the proposal would begin next week.