On Tuesday, November 15, the Prince George’s County Council voted to table CB-49, a controversial zoning bill that would prohibit video lottery terminals or “slots” in the county. The council voted 5-4 to table the bill, which will now go to the General Assembly who will most likely require a popular vote by the people of Maryland to settle the issue.
Penn National Gaming, the owners of Rosecroft Raceway, have been pushing for slots since they acquired the property in early 2011. The gaming company and other opponents of the bill suggest that slots at the PG County racetrack would create jobs, increase tourism and tax revenue, and benefit not only the county budget, but the county citizen’s finances as well. At the hearing held on November 15, proponents of the bill – those wishing to prohibit slots – cited the potential social and financial degradation of those who choose to participate in gaming.
After hours of public comment from a standing-room-only crowd, the Prince George’s County Council voted as follows (from the Sentinel):
Councilman Obie Patterson, D-District 8, was the first councilmember to move to table CB-49, followed by Council Chairwoman Ingrid Turner, D-District 4, and council members Derrick Leon Davis, D-District 6, Karen Toles, D-District 7, and Mel Franklin, D-District 9. Council members Olson, Campos, Harrison and Lehman opposed.