Panel delays review of partnership's Bingo World plan

May 19, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

The county's Amusement Licensing Commission decided yesterday to hold off reviewing a partnership's application to take over a Brooklyn Park bingo hall because the seller hasn't agreed to the deal.

The seven-member commission declined to review a proposal by Arundel Amusements to take over Bingo World, owned by Stephen B. Paskind, until Paskind agrees to the proposal.

The partners -- Baltimore attorneys Isaac Neuberger, Michael Quinn, Price Gielen and Richard Rubin and Millersville developer Ernest Litty -- drew up the agreement about two weeks ago after the commission rejected two earlier proposals from the group.

In the latest proposal, the partnership would take over the operation for $4.2 million and pay rent to Arundel Arena Inc., a separate company that owns Bingo World. Paskind would be paid $59,000 a month over 72 months out of that rental fee, according to Deputy County Attorney David A. Plymyer.

He said Paskind's attorney notified him Friday that Paskind had reservations about the deal.

Plymyer said yesterday that the new agreement gives Paskind little recourse if the new owners fail to make the payments -- other than to sue in Circuit Court.

Commission members told Plymyer yesterday to notify Paskind and the partnership that the commission will not consider the proposal until it has proof both sides agree to it.

"The commission shouldn't be in the position of reviewing half an agreement," said John Klocko III, commission chairman.

The county has been trying for years to get Paskind out of the bingo business.

The case goes back to 1989, when the county denied a renewal of the operating license for Paskind's bingo parlor on Belle Grove Road, because it allegedly had ties to organized crime.

Dominic P. "Large" Cortina, 67, admitted in U.S. District Court in Baltimore that he and five others concocted a plan early in 1986 to funnel profits from gambling, loan-sharking, robbery and interstate transportation of stolen property through Bingo World. pleaded guilty April 7 to conspiring to launder nearly $2 million in ill-gotten money from operations in Florida and Illinois through the bingo hall. He is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 27.

Paskind has appealed the county's denial of a license to Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. A hearing is slated for June 5.

During the appeals process, the hall has remained open. It operates seven nights a week and attracts about 600 patrons a night, according to testimony before the commission.

The commission had rejected an earlier request from Arundel Amusements to allow the license transfer because commission members said the partnership -- which is partially made up of Paskind's former lawyers -- had not sufficiently severed ties between Paskind and Arundel Amusements.

The partnership's members say they will pay $4.2 million for the license, with the payment coming out of the profits from the bingo hall, and that they expect to complete the purchase in about six years.

The partners also were being permitted by Paskind to spread the payments over 30 years, if necessary. But commission members said such a transaction theoretically makes Paskind a shadow partner in the operation because he would continue to have a stake in its profits.

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