Ministers tell O’Malley they’ll fight against slots at Rosecroft

August 22, 2011

(Lucian Perkins/THE WASHINGTON POST)

In a letter to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) sent last month, the group wrote: “The constant attempt by gaming companies to promote additional gaming in our county are inconsistent with our values and our expressed interests and will be opposed vigorously.” The letter was shared with The Post on Monday morning and e-mailed by the group to elected officials representing Prince George’s County.

The organization, formerly known as the Collective Banking Group, has worked to expand economic opportunities for its membership, which its says includes 150 churches. The group helped lead opposition to a move to bring slots to Prince George’s County in 2007, when the General Assembly authorized sites for slots in five other Maryland counties.

The release of the letter, comes as Penn National Gaming, the new owner of the Fort Washington horse track, plans to reopen for simulcasting on Thursday. The company announced Monday that live racing will resume Oct. 21.

Penn National has committed to live racing for two years, but company officials say they will need additional gaming at the site to be viable long-term. The company is exploring slots and table games as options and plans a big push during next year’s legislative session.

Bringing additional gaming to Rosecroft would require approval by the General Assembly as well as a statewide ballot measure.

Some Prince George’s lawmakers who had opposed slots have said they are rethinking the issue in light of ongoing budget challenges. Portions of slots proceeds go to host counties and the state.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.
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