State ordered to reply to O.C.'s keno complaint

December 22, 1992

SNOW HILL -- County Circuit Judge Theodore R. Eschenburg Jr. has given the State Lottery Agency until Jan. 22 to respond to a complaint filed by Ocean City officials, who are trying to block the agency's keno numbers game.

The judge signed the order after an attorney for Ocean City, Guy R. Ayres III, filed a complaint and a request for an injunction yesterday.

A copy of the lawsuit was to be served on lottery officials, with another copy sent to Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr., who will have to defend the agency in court.

A lottery spokeswoman said yesterday that the agency still plans to launch the controversial game Jan. 4 at hundreds of locations across the state.

Mr. Ayres said that if lottery officials stick to their schedule, they do so "at their own peril."

The Ocean City Council decided Friday to seek an injunction against keno, arguing that state purchasing and lottery laws were violated by the Lottery Agency.

Council members and the mayor said they fear that gambling could tarnish the image of Ocean City as a family resort.

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