Slots Bidding Opens

Maryland voters approved a constitutional amendment in November allowing up to 15,000 slot machines at five sites. Maryland officials opened bidding for five licenses for slot gambling, and thus far, only six companies have placed bids. Officials warned that due to the economic circumstances, they are unsure as to what the bids will bring. They are aware that recent casino licenses in Kansas are unused as the companies that won them are delaying construction. Maryland leaders were counting on the projected $600-million the slots were to bring in to close a gap in funding.

The six bidders placed bids for 6,550 of the 15,000 available machines. Following shows how the bids came in for the five sites:
–Anne Arundel County -The Cordish Co. bid for the maximum 4,750 slot machines and posted $28.5-million in upfront licensing fees. Cordish wants to put slots at Arundel Mills Mall.
–Magna Entertainment Corp. bid for 3,000 machines at the Laurel Park horse racing track. It has not posted any of the $18-million in upfront licensing fees.
–The Baltimore City Entertainment Group bid for 500 slot machines, with the possibility of increasing that to 3,750 later.
–Worcester County William Rickman, owner of Ocean Downs race track near Ocean City, bid for 800 slot machines at the track with a possible expansion to 1,500 later.
–Cecil County Penn National Gaming Inc. bid for 500 slot machines in Perryville, at Interstate 95 and Route 222. The company could later expand to 1,500 slot machines.
–Allegany County Empire Resorts bid for 750 slot machines at Rocky Gap State Park, with the potential to expand to 1,500. Empire has not posted the $4.5-million in upfront licensing fees.

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