ANNAPOLIS -- In the wake of revelations of organized crime connections to a commercial bingo operation in Brooklyn Park, Anne Arundel County Executive Robert R. Neall created yesterday a task force to draft new bingo regulations.
"We need to make sure that the county's regulations for these amusement games keep pace with their increasingly sophisticated operation," Mr. Neall said.
The panel, chaired by Leroy Jonas Jr., head of the county Department of Inspections and Permits, is to study other amusement games as well, including video gambling machines. But the first priority is bingo, according to David Plymyer, assistant county attorney.
The county revoked licenses for three establishments, including Bingo World on Belle Grove Road, when officials found that Stephen B. Paskind of Florida, who held those licenses, associated with organized crime figures at a bingo hall he owns in Florida.
The county Board of Appeals upheld the action; Mr. Paskind has asked the Circuit Court to review the decision.
In October, six reputed mobsters were indicted on charges they laundered ill-gotten money through Bingo World, supplying Mr. Paskind with more than $1 million. One of the six -- Izaak Martin "Red" Silber, 69 -- pleaded guilty recently to arranging arson at a competing bingo hall.
The task force is to issue recommendations on bingo regulations by July 1. Mr. Neall imposed a moratorium on issuing or renewing licenses until new regulations are in effect.
The county has seven bingo parlors, including Mr. Paskind's. Licenses for another three operations -- Daily Double Bingo in Laurel, Wayson's Bingo in Lothian and Bingo Palace in Gambrills -- were renewed last year. The license for Casino Bingo in Annapolis has not been renewed, but the Hudson Street establishment remains open until final action is taken on the license.