Could Harford County Get A Casino?
County Executive David Craig wrote a letter asking that Harford County be considered for a an additional casino location in Maryland.
If Harford County is to strike the jackpot in luring a gaming facility to Harford County, there's plenty of work to be done.
Following a letter from County Executive David Craig seeking cooperation from the state, leaders from around the county confirmed to Patch Monday afternoon that there has been virtually no talk of establishing a casino facility in Harford County.
In his letter to the chairman of the work group to consider gaming expansion, Craig wrote the revenue from a Harford County casino would offset the cost of teacher pensions shifting from the state to the county and other "unfunded mandates."
"I'm not certain from a business point of view that there's a lot of support for something like that. But certainly, as we try to balance budgets, we need to look at every avenue," Jim Richardson, director of the county office of economic development, said.
Richardson went on to say that Harford County has a fair shot at getting a casino.
"I think we have great standard of living, great quality of life. People are coming here. We're certainly looking from a tourism end to drive people for overnight stays. We're on 95 as well, so we have as good a shot as anybody."
The idea, however is a new one to many officials in the county.
Doug Miller, Aberdeen city manager, said the letter was the first he's heard of casino talk, adding that is not always privy to those conversations.
"I would think that there are only so many people that are going to go to a casino. The fact that we have one right across the Tydings Bridge, I'm not so sure how many of those people would be deflected here to Harford County," Miller said. "My thought would be: how many folks are out there that would frequent this play. Just because you throw them more slot machines doesn't mean they'll get filled up."
Miller added that as the state continues to cut funding and add expenses to municipalities, there has to be an equal opportunities for municipalities to raise funds.
"Our revenue raising capabilities are very limited. We here in the city, we've got the property tax. That's basically it. The fees that we charge, there has to be a relationship to the services."
"It's a new thing," Bennett said.
Many officials in the county said they would prefer the hotel tax to be passed first.
Patch reached out to Hollywood Casino for comment, but had not received a response as of post time.