On November 6th, 2007, state official are worried that classic slot machines at Laurel Park could affect the growing local economy and kept away potential business owners like federal contractors. County Councilman Jamie Benoit, a Democrat from District four, who criticizes slot machines at Laurel Park, said that if he is a business owner, he would be wary on how the casino will affect the work ethic of his employees.
Officials and neighborhood people commented that the slot machines are not needed to be place at the Laurel Park because the location is still under modification. Across the Patuxent River in Laurel, a big commercial development named Konterra is currently being planned for the west area of the city and the Laurel Mall will be remodeled.
In Anne Arundel, Maryland City and the neighboring area could see an economic advantage from the Base Realignment and Closure at the Fort Meade is predicted to produce 22,000 employment opportunities. But the contractors of the BRAC may not be place in Anne Arundel if the slot machines were placed at the Laurel Park. But other people commented that the charged of bad economic effects is not true and that the water and road systems are the biggest issues that Laurel Park has to deal with.
Claire Louder, the executive director of the West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce commented that she does not see it as a big problem. If the final decision were up to the voters on the 2008 vote, the economic problems of the leaders could be shown by the communities that do not like slot machines.
Lebanon County Edged Out of Slots Profits
On May 3rd, 2008, Lebanon County did not receive anything when the state divided the first round of profits from the Hollywood Casino at the Penn National Race Course. The Dauphin County and the Dauphin East Hanover TWP received $525,832 each as their part of the casino revenues. Lebanon County and its East Hanover TWP received nothing because the state Gaming Control Board's understanding of what is the meaning of a license facility.
Officials of Lebanon County said that they deserve some part of the profits because around twenty acres of Penn National is located in the East Hanover Area of TWP, although the casino establishment is located in the area that is in Dauphin County. The gaming board commented that the licensee only leases the Penn National property in Dauphin County and the part of Penn National that is Lebanon County is not a part of the licensed establishment.
In a bid to clarify what a licensed establishment means, a proposal presented before the state gaming control board would clarify that the world can be used to the casino gaming floor and the surrounding restaurants and establishments. This plan for a more standard definition was also pushed by two resort casino applications which are the Fernwood Hotel and Resort in Monroe County and the Resort at Split Rock in Carbon County. Those establishments must ensure that they will not be constructed within fifteen miles of existing casino facilities and that meaning could be a huge factor.
A thirty-day comment period will be given on the proposal. After the thirty day comment period, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission will release a decision. For the East Hanover Twp., Lebanon County, the definition will decide on whether the county will have receive up to three hundred thousand dollars to help pay for the road renovation, fire protection and others.
The solicitor for East Hanover Twp., Lebanon County, Sam Weiss Jr. commented that he understands that the gaming law means that if the establishment is situated into two counties, the profit will be divided based on the land in each county. Aside from that, the commissioners of Lebanon County and the legislators have made letters pushing for their county to receive some money from the slots profits.