Board rejects bingo license transfer Owner allegedly tied to underworld

November 05, 1993|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

The Anne Arundel County Board of Appeals last night denied the transfer of a license to operate a Brooklyn Park bingo hall from a Florida man with alleged ties to organized crime to a group of investors that includes the man's former lawyers.

The board voted 3-1 to uphold a December decision by Robert Dvorak, county director of inspections and permits, denying the transfer of a license to operate Bingo World from Steven B. Paskind to Arundel Amusements.

Although Mr. Dvorak ordered Bingo World to close when he issued his decision, it has continued to operate under a court injunction that delayed closure until the appeal was heard.

The board's vote does not become final until the written decision is issued within 60 days. During that time, board members are permitted to change their votes.

Mr. Paskind was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1990 indictments of six organized crime figures who admitted they used the bingo parlor as a front to launder money from illegal activities. The county has been trying to close Bingo World since 1989, when Mr. Paskind's alleged ties to organized crime first came to light.

Mr. Paskind, who now lives in Davie, Fla., has said he wants out of the bingo business and would like nothing more than to sell the enterprise to Arundel Amusements, a partnership of Millersville developer Ernest J. Litty and four Baltimore attorneys, who until nearly two years ago belonged to a firm that represented Mr. Paskind.

Arundel Amusements is offering to buy Bingo World from Mr. Paskind for $4.2 million.

The money would not be paid to Mr. Paskind up front; he would receive $60,000 per month from the bingo hall's profits.

County officials ruled that the arrangement would still leave Mr. Paskind with a stake in the business. The board apparently agreed, although Mr. Paskind signed a document stating he would not be involved with the bingo operation.

"For me to believe that, I'd have to believe Mr. Paskind," said Anthony LaMartina, a board member. "I don't find him credible. I don't find him believable."

He added that the proposed leveraged buyout of the bingo business was not satisfactory. Mr. Paskind, he said, could become involved again if the business falters under Arundel Amusements.

Board member Joseph Johnson cast the lone vote in favor of the appeal.

D. Christopher Ohly, attorney for Bingo World, could not be reached for comment last night.

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