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Arundel Council Approves Slot Machines At Mall

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By David Schultz

After nearly ten months of agonizing debate among residents who live nearby, and among Council members themselves, the Anne Arundel County Council has approved a zoning measure to allow slot machines at the Arundel Mills Mall.

Maryland Jockey Club President Tom Chukas says if slots are placed at the mall - and not at Laurel Park Race Track - there could be dire consequences for Maryland's struggling horse racing industry.

"If the Mills gets gaming, Laurel Park's future is very, very bleak," Chukas says. "I don't see racing continuing."

Four Council members voted yea, the minimum needed for a majority.

Republican Tricia Johnson says Anne Arundel County and the state of Maryland desperately need the revenue slot machines would generate:

"The most important point to me is that we need this money," Johnson says.

But the council also approved a measure that would effectively prevent slot machines from being located at the mall.

It's now up to to County Executive John Leopold, who can veto either or both of them. He has ten days to make a final decision.

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