Bingo World may go under, lawyer says

November 07, 1993|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

A lawyer for a Brooklyn Park bingo hall that had its request for a license transfer rejected by the county Appeals Board said the business could be forced into bankruptcy.

D. Christopher Ohly said Friday that the Appeals Board's 3-1 vote to deny the transfer of Bingo World's operating license from Steven B. Paskind to Arundel Amusements leaves his client with few options.

Last week's vote upheld a decision in December by Robert Dvorak, county director of inspections and permits, to block the transfer and close the establishment, on the basis of Mr. Paskind's alleged ties to organized crime.

Mr. Paskind was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1990 indictments of six organized crime figures who admitted that they used the bingo parlor to launder money from illegal activities.

Although Mr. Dvorak ordered the closing of Bingo World, Mr. Ohly obtained a court injunction in January that delayed any action until the Appeals Board ruled.

As part of the injunction, Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Martin A. Wolff ordered both parties back to court five days after the Appeals Board's decision to determine Bingo World's fate.

The board's vote does not become final until the written decision is issued within 60 days. During that time, board members can change their votes. One board member, David Schafer, has not voted, but his vote by itself could not change the outcome.

Mr. Ohly said his first step will be to file a review of the Appeals Board decision with the Circuit Court.

"If [Judge Wolf] finds we have no likelihood of success on the merits of our review petition, he would immediately evaporate our injunction," Mr. Ohly said. "And then there would be substantial question as to whether Bingo World would continue as an entity."

"Bingo World would be forced to consider other legal remedies," he said, such as filing for bankruptcy.

"Of course, we would avail ourselves of all judicial remedies in the state of Maryland," he said, including appeals to the Court of Special Appeals and the Court of Appeals. "But the life of the business would be placed in serious jeopardy as the result of lifting the injunction, and about 100 people would lose their jobs."

Deputy County Attorney David A. Plymyer said the county objected to the financial arrangement between Mr. Paskind and Arundel Amusements, a group consisting of Millersville developer Ernest J. Litty and four Baltimore lawyers, who until nearly two years ago belonged to a firm that represented Mr. Paskind.

Arundel Amusements offered to buy Bingo World from Mr. Paskind for $4.2 million, to be paid at the rate of $60,000 per month from the bingo hall's profits.

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