Bingo World owner can seek permit

September 01, 1992|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

The county has decided to let Bingo World owner Stephen Paskind, a Florida businessman with alleged ties to organized crime, apply for a permit to continue operating -- secure in the belief that he will be turned down.

For months, the county has refused to allow Mr. Paskind to apply for a license renewal, saying he did not have the "good moral character" required to operate a bingo parlor under county law. But officials said yesterday that they would not appeal last month's Circuit Court ruling clearing the way for such an application.

The court ruled that county officials erred when they denied Mr. Paskind's renewal application in 1989. The law, Judge Bruce C. Williams said, applied only to first-time applicants.

But in 1990, the law and its moral turpitude standard was changed to apply to bingo parlor operators seeking renewal.

County officials believe that letting the decision stand, but letting Mr. Paskind apply for a renewal under the 1990 law, will facilitate the ultimate goal of getting him out of the bingo business in Anne Arundel County, deputy county attorney David Plymyer told the members of the Amusement License Commission yesterday afternoon.

The county has been trying to get Mr. Paskind out of the bingo business since 1989, when it denied him renewal of his license to operate Bingo World on Belle Grave Road in Glen Burnie. He has continued to operate the parlor under court order until the appeals process is completed.

In recent months, several associates of Mr. Paskind -- who have admitted to funneling profits from gambling, loan-sharking, robbery and other enterprises through Bingo World -- have been convicted in U.S. District Court.

The county sent notification to Mr. Paskind on Friday that it would not appeal the decision and that he is now free to apply for renewal of his bingo license.

But because he must pass muster under the moral turpitude clause of the County Code, it is unlikely that the director of permits and inspections will approve the application, Mr. Plymyer said.

Mr. Paskind has been trying to sell his license to a partnership made up of Millersville real estate developer Ernest J. Litty Jr. and four partners in a Baltimore law firm that formerly represented Mr. Paskind. A proposal that would have paid Mr. Paskind $4.2 million for the license was rejected in June by the Amusement License Commission, which ruled he had no license to transfer to the group.

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