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Pr. George's seems opposed to legal card games at Rosecroft

"You could have 52 percent of the state approve it and 65 percent of the county not want it, and it still [could] be thrust upon" Prince George's, Pinsky said. "In terms of public policy, I think it's ridiculous."

Pinsky said he believes that the only reason the slots issue passed in a 2008 referendum is because Prince George's residents knew there was no site in the county.

In the waning days of the legislative session, Vogel is lobbying intensely and Muse is pushing on behalf of the bill.

Despite that, many delegates say the chances of the bill's passage in the House appear slim, because delegates want to see the state's slots program up and running before any additional gambling is approved.

"There would have to be a dramatic shift or change of heart," Davis said.

But if the measure does make it onto the November ballot, it will have an uphill battle in the county, several residents predicted.

William Cavitt, vice president of the Indian Head Highway Area Action Council, a civic group in Fort Washington, said the state has "unrealistic expectations" about gambling.

"We're opposed to it," he said. "They seem to have expectations that money will fall out of the sky. . . . It's not a way to make money."

Rev. Grainger Browning Jr., pastor of Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, said gambling does not improve the quality of life. "The negatives outweigh the positives," he said.

June White Dillard, president of the Prince George's chapter of the NAACP, said she worries about addiction and increased criminal activity.

"Gambling preys on the lowest-income people," Dillard said. "They play the slots, they buy the lottery tickets and they are least able to afford it. . . . Making it tables doesn't make any difference."

But Vogel has said that slot machines and card games are very different. They attract different clienteles and the racetrack would probably draw people from various parts of the region, not solely from Prince George's, he said.


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