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Shopping Mall Slots Vote In Anne Arundel County

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By Cathy Duchamp

Council members in Anne Arundel County will decide tonight if slot machines and shopping are a good fit.

Amy Spencer lives near Arundel Mills Mall. She loves being close to shopping and restaurants. But Spencer doesn't like the idea of a casino next to the mall. "This is a residential area where our kids are going to be out and about, and not to say that people are unsavory that go to slots, but there's going to just be a lot more people," says Spencer. "And when you have more people, there's more issues."

The Anne Arundel County Council will grapple with that when it decides whether to zone for a mall casino. If the council rejects the plan, talk of slots at racetracks may resume. That's welcome news to Ed Gaudet, a longtime trainer at Laurel Park.

"We employ so many people here, the groomers, the hot walkers, the exercise riders, it goes on and on, the mutual people, the security people, if we fail they all gonna be out of work," says Gaudet.

Backers of a casino near the mall say Maryland's voter approved video slots law guarantees the horse racing industry nearly 10 percent of total gambling revenue wherever the bets take place.

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