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Fierce Battle Ahead on Slot Machines in Maryland

As of this very moment, slot machines in Maryland are illegal. There's hope though, that come voting time in 2008, slot machines in Maryland would be legalized, if not blocked by local government officials.

Residents of the state of Maryland are looking forward to the ballot initiative scheduled this year to legalize slot machines in Maryland. However there is a problem with a provision in the referendum legislation that leaves the final say to local authorities, which could render the referendum useless. To operate slot machines in Maryland, slots operators would need to adhere to regulations passed by local authorities as dictated by the bills passed by the legislature. Indeed residents of Maryland might just be facing a battleground with the upcoming fierce campaign to legalize slot machines in Maryland.

If the referendum turns out in favor of slot machine operators in the November 2008 election, there would be fifteen thousand slot machines in Maryland. Among the sites for slot machines in Maryland are Baltimore City and the counties of Anne Arundel, Worcester, Allegany and Cecil. If approved, this would mean profit of millions of dollars for the state which they could use to fund infrastructure.

In Worcester county, there's a lot of opposition to the constitutional amendment to allow slot machines in Maryland because of the possibility of cutting into tourism dollars. Indeed if the counties of Arundel and Worcester oppose, the number of slot machines in Maryland initially projected, which is at fifteen thousand, would be cut in half. This means a reduction of six hundred and fifty million dollars in revenue for the state.

Perhaps the biggest problem with slot machines in Maryland is the zoning laws in existence. Under the present zoning laws, land can only be used if specifically defined how to use it, and it would have to be for a specific purpose. Hence if there is no zoning law, it would need to be created by zoning officials. In Anne Arundel for instance, the zoning codes in existence absolutely prohibit slot machines.

Criticism of Maryland leaders is at an all time high because of their inability to decide on whether slot machines in Maryland should be allowed. Everyone should brace themselves for the tough political battle that lies ahead since the issues to be tackled are not only the allowance of slot machines in Maryland, but also saving horse racing. We all need to cross our fingers that come November, the residents of Maryland would finally be able to put the issues to rest.


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