Council To Hear From Citizens On Peep Shows, Bingo Halls

November 18, 1991|By Paul Shread | Paul Shread,Staff writer

The County Council, which wants to know what residents think about peep shows and bingo parlors, will conduct public hearings tonight on bills regulating both industries.

The bingo bill, 10 months in themaking, would prevent organized crime from having ties to the county's commercial parlors.

The county revoked bingo licenses last year for three establishments, including Bingo World on Belle Grove Road in Brooklyn Park, whenofficials found that Stephen B. Paskind of Florida, who held those licenses, associated with organized crime figures at a bingo hall he owns in Florida.

Six reputed mobsters were indicted on charges theylaundered money through Bingo World, supplying Paskind with more than $1 million. Paskind was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case. Bingo World is operating under a court agreement.

The proposed bill strengthens the county's current regulations, which deny licenses to applicants who lack "good moral character." The bill adds specifics to that vague definition, denying licenses to owners and managers with ties to organized crime or gambling convictions and requiring them to submit to background checks.

The bill also reduces thenumber of bingo licenses from seven to five, restricts owners to onelicense each and increases the amount of winnings bingo parlors may offer.

Anne Arundel County is one of the few jurisdictions outsideof American Indian reservations that licenses commercial bingo.

The peep show bill would restrict the location of adult bookstores andpeep shows and strengthen zoning regulations affecting them.

Residents turned out in force earlier this year to oppose peep shows and adult bookstores proposed for Glen Burnie and Odenton. The county hasput a moratorium on new peep show licenses until regulations are approved. A separate bill before the council would extend the moratorium.

The legislation would prohibit adult bookstores, peep shows and movie theaters from operating within 1,000 feet of homes, schools, libraries, parks, day-care centers, churches or other adult entertainment establishments.

The bill also requires the interiors of peep show booths at which X-rated movies are shown to be open, lighted and visible from a

manager's station.

In other action, the council will conduct a hearing on a resolution that would ask County ExecutiveRobert R. Neall to give any money cut from the council's branch of government to county employees who have agreed to wage concessions.

Council members Diane Evans, R-Arnold, and Carl "Dutch" Holland, R-Pasadena, introduced the bill two weeks ago, drawing criticism from council members, who said they weren't consulted about the resolution.

The council may introduce its spending reduction plan tonight.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers in the Arundel Center on Calvert Street in Annapolis.

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