Sunday, October 25, 2009

Slots and Reality Still Don’t Mix

By Rob Annicelli.

In a desperate attempt to help aid the faltering Cordish bid for slots zoning approval at Arundel Mills, Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold “decried a proposal for a new site for a casino in the county as a de facto ‘prohibition’ on slot machines.”

This is a pretty incredible statement for him to make given that he helped to stop slots legislation as a state delegate for a number of years by opposing former Governor Bob Ehrlich’s attempt to locate slots at racetracks. But he then went on to make the claim that not permitting slots at the Arundel Mills Mall would cost the County $30 million dollars per year, making a flawed assumption that there will be no slots in Anne Arundel County if they are not at Arundel Mills. Well, not quite. For Leopold to be correct, one would have to suspend reality and assume no one would want to bid on the closest slots license to the Washington D.C region simply because Leopold did not get his way and slots were not permitted at his preferred site.

Slots have a long and sordid history in this state. The ‘False Choice’ of Arundel Mills or nothing being presented by some politicians is another example of the corrupting influence of gambling. Leopold was correct for the many years before he became a slots supporter, and should have never switched.

Mr. Leopold, is $30 million per year, or 1.5% of the Anne Arundel County budget, really worth all the harm in the form of increased traffic and crime it will bring to the residents of your County?

Rob Annicelli
Stop Slots at Arundel Mills