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Anti-Slots Groups in Maryland Takes Case to State Supreme Court

On September 11th, 2008, critics of slot machines in Maryland are taking their battle over the slots referendum on November to Maryland's Supreme Court. They want the wording on the November referendum to specify that the profits from slot machines will be utilized to support gaming interests. The latest wording on the referendum is that it will be allocated for education. Backers of the Maryland slot machine referendum that if the referendum fails on November, it could spell the end of horseracing at Laurel Park as well as other racing tracks in Maryland. It could also mean the loss of the well-known Preakness Race and the millions of dollars allotted for Maryland schools.

It would also deny the state hundreds of millions of dollars in tax profit at a time when it is facing a billion dollar budget deficit. Anne Lyle, who lives near Laurel, is just one of the many undecided voters. Lyle said that although she believes that it will produce the money needed by Maryland to supplement the state budget, it will just attract more gaming activities in the state and will just encourage people to gamble more. A recent survey conducted by the Gonzales Research found out that the support for the slots referendum is dropping. 49% approve, while 43% do not approved of the referendum.

In January, fifty-four percent are in favor of the referendum, while only thirty-eight percent were opposed on the referendum. Scott Arcenaux, a leader of Marylanders United Against Slot machines, say slots will just cost the state money. Prince George County's State Delegate Barbara Frush has been a critic of slot machines but with the large budget deficit, she feels that she has to support the slots referendum. Frush and other legislators believe that they have already cut the state government as much as they can.

The state legislature has raised the sales tax and other taxes with the promise that there would be no tax increases.


Sunday, 12 October 2008
Caroline Mitchell