December 17, 2009

Reports: Baltimore slots proposal denied

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The state’s Video Lottery Facility Location Commission has denied a developer’s plan to construct a slots casino in South Baltimore, according to several reports out of Annapolis after the company delayed for months the release of information about its investment team and failed to come up with an application fee for its expanded proposal.

The unanimous decision casts further doubt on the state’s slots plan, as two of the state’s voter-approved sites have no bids before the commission. The panel also threw out a bid for Rocky Gap in Allegany County after the developer there did not submit required licensing fees. Though three other sites, in Worcester, Cecil and Anne Arundel counties, have been approved, the Arundel site remains in flux.

A proposal to build slots at Arundel Mills mall has been hung up by the County Council’s delay in voting on zoning for the site.

Here’s what’s around the web on the Baltimore decision:

Brian Witte at The Associated Press has one of the most complete accounts so far. He writes that the commission will likely rebid the site next year, but it’s unclear when that would happen. The head of the group that had bid on the site says the company needs time to evaluate its options.

Julie Bykowicz and Annie Linskey in The Baltimore Sun have a piece that went up less than an hour after the vote. They write that commission chairman Donald C. Fry says the commission was “more than patient” with the developers of the proposed 3,750-machine site. The panel will refund $3 million that the company paid in February as a placeholder license fee.

John Wagner in The Washington Post’s Maryland blog has the vote count, at 6-0. He calls the decision, “abrupt.”

Nick Sohr at The Daily Record has the money quote from the panel: ““The Commission finds that it is in the best and public interest of the State to reject the BCEG operation license proposal.”

No web video yet, but check the roundup tomorrow morning for all the reaction and follow-up.