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BLOG: A Slots Parlor for Harford County?

What can a Harford County casino offer that is different than Perryville or Anne Arundel County?

Just the other day I heard on the news that our County Executive is proposing a casino in Harford County to fund, among other things, teacher raises.    

I enjoy a good casino, the excitement, the entertainment, the shopping, the food, the gambling and having a good time with friends. Atlantic City has just unveiled their newest casino, Revel, which is trying to return to the glamourous days of casinos, cue the Rat Pack. Delaware Park is a grand old lady, with a Victorian interior that is pure class and adds horse racing to the mix. However, there are no good casinos in Maryland! The only thing Maryland has are slot parlors, rows and rows of one armed bandits, stacked for the house. Table games- blackjack, poker, craps, money wheels are illegal in Maryland, and are computerized with a mechanized card dealer under glass at the new Live! casino in Anne Arundel County, and in Perryville you get a screen with a combination Stepford Wife/Playboy Bunny type model that is pretending to deal out the cards, in a skimpy costume of course.

It's true that casinos raise much needed tax revenue, create jobs, and can increase tourism, but what is the attraction when Maryland is surrounded by states where table games are legal?

I'm not a fan of slots. It takes no skill or strategy to play slots. I always lose the money I put into them and rarely see anyone winning big. They are jammed into a room and seating is very close. Your bet amounts are set by the machine to choose from. Yet whenever I go, I see people running two or three machines at once, feeding more and more money into them.

Not that long ago even Atlantic City's casinos were struggling and old standards like The Sands closed their doors. Even with many other attractions such as the boardwalk, the beach/ocean, lighthouses, wineries and more, they were struggling to survive. The addition of outlet malls, upscale restaurants and top notch entertainment is helping revitalize the industry there.

What can a Harford County casino offer that is different than Perryville or Anne Arundel County? Will people really drive for hours to play the same exact machines found at every other casino?

Then there is location...where would this casino be placed? Are there current sites zoned for such a venture? Would a casino be a blight on our rural farmland that is highly prized? Would it be in a more populated area adding traffic, pollution and other undesirable factors? What price do we all pay to have another casino in Harford County, or for that matter in Maryland?

It may seem like a quick way to raise tax revenue and increase jobs, but the county executive needs to think of not only the impact on Harford County, but to get a consensus of voters on their support.

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Terry June 12, 2012 at 03:11 PM
For the past 5 years, Military Veteran's organizations (American Legion and VFW Posts) have tried to have a simple law passed in Annapolis to permit slot machines to be used in those organizational Posts statewide and not just on the Eastern Shore, as is the law now. These organizations have little to no outside funding assistance and rely on their canteens and small events to raise funds for building upkeep, utility bills, and a few employees. They try to help disabled and homeless Veterans. It is proven that Veteran's organizations on the Eastern Shore are able to maintain a very good Post atmosphere for the Veterans in their area, mostly through the funding that the slot machines provide. I believe they are permitted to keep about 50% of the proceeds and are required to donate about 50% of the proceeds to a bona fide charitable organization, such as Volunteer Fire Companies. Costs to the taxpayers are reduced for fire and ambulance service. It is a win-win situation. The Harford County delegation to Annapolis has always supported this endeavor, as well as the majority of Republican Delegations state-wide. The problem always ends up being the Democrats in Annapolis "conveniently" stuff it in the back of their desk drawer or, vote against it every time it comes up for a vote. My guess is that they don't like it because they don't get much out of it. It gives many of our Veterans the impression that Annapolis does not give a damn about our Military Veterans!
irene pino June 13, 2012 at 01:29 PM
A casino in Harford County, why yes that is a great idea. I have lived in Harford County for over 30 years, worked in Harford County for as long and enjoyed all that Harford County has to offer, so why go to some other county/state to help them financially. If a casino is in Harford County it will not doubt be done with class and style, it should and could not be done any other way. Let's face the facts, everyone that enters a casino is not going to win, but everyone that enters a casino has a good time with as much or as little as you want to spend. I do have to agree that the powers that be in Annapolis have got to get their heads out of their behinds and pass a law that table games should be allowed. Not my cup of tea, but to each their own!
janine bruce June 14, 2012 at 02:04 PM
the old Bren Mar Park site on 543, near exit 80 on I 95 perfect place.
James P. Miller June 14, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Keep it away from Havre de Grace.
Hazzard Native June 19, 2012 at 04:27 PM
There is a slots parlor RIGHT ACROSS THE RIVER. I personally like to gamble a little, I am not against gambling, what I am against is the belief that putting a casino in Harford County is a fiscally sound approach to balancing any local government's budget. Stop with the nonsense already, reduce spending, tighten some belts and get real. The more parlors that pop up in this region will only serve to lessen the play at the other parlors. Does anyone remember the individually owned gas stations and mini-marts we used to have in Harford County? Most of them failed when Wawa and Royal Farms moved in. The market could only sustain a certain amount of gas pumps and slushee machines. Do you get it yet?
mark t. ward July 25, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Let's get real, try persuading a business like Cabela's here NOW THAT'S what this area needs. A store of that quality would bring the sportsman from all around the try state area. Cabela's would generate jobs and tax revenues while delivering quality merchandise to us here in Harford County. I spoke the our local County Government (Commerce Development) people and never heard a word back from my initial contact. It's time we the voters demand quality not quantity. Wake Up Harford...
Ahmad0001 December 18, 2012 at 06:23 AM
My guess is that they don't like it because they don't get much out of it. It gives many of our Veterans the impression that Annapolis does not give a damn about our Military Veterans! http://www.onlinedatastoragesite.com/softwares/training-learned-through-online-data-storage-as-well-as-backup-example.html

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