Slots mean revenue for state, tracks, It is essential to the health of the horse racing industry in Maryland that the state enters the real world and provides Marylanders a local outlet for their interest in gambling -- and, more specifically, slot machines.
I have visited the Charles Town, W.Va., track many times, both as a spectator and as a horse-owner. Since the advent of slot machines, purses are larger, activity has grown and the local economy has received a much-needed shot in the arm.
Our otherwise liberal governor is very short-sighted in continuing his opposition to gambling, even as citizens are accepting slot machines as just another form of entertainment like bingo and keno.
John Harrison Jr., Columbia
I support legalizing slot machines at race tracks in Maryland. This would not only create hundreds of jobs for Marylanders, but provide millions of dollars for schools and other programs.
Slots in Delaware and West Virginia churn out enormous sums of money, which lessens the burden on those states' taxpayers.
I am extremely pleased that state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has created a committee to take up this issue.
I am sure Mr. Miller has seen, as I have seen, buses by the hundreds taking Maryland citizens up Interstate 95. Those buses are headed for Delaware and New Jersey, with patrons who will spend Maryland money in those states.
We have fed our neighboring states long enough. It's time we kept that money home.
Dion F. Guthrie, Rumsey Island
Slot machines in Maryland are long overdue. Aside from the tremendous revenue they would bring the state, slots could improve the quality of Maryland racing.
With better purses, we would be able to get more trainers to run at our tracks.
Do-gooders will harp on the fact that people will gamble away their rent and food money, but this is probably only 2 percent of the people who gamble.
What about the other 98 percent, who can control their betting, and are being deprived of the chance to enjoy themselves?
Charles F. Schafer, Baltimore
This is a no-brainer: Maryland is losing a great deal of revenue, and slots should be installed at Maryland tracks.
But I believe gambling should stop at slots at race tracks. We should allow no other forms of gambling at these sites.
Thomas Norris, Bel Air
There is no question Maryland is losing big bucks to our neighboring states through slots. Many of our tax-and-spend legislators are foaming at the mouth to grab those elusive greenbacks.
The problem is, one doesn't make money from this form of gambling. The odds are against you.
An all-too-common-common scenario is: Mommy and daddy feed Mr. and Mrs. Slot one-fourth of their paychecks. The slots regurgitate about one-half of that. Mommy and daddy are then one-eighth of their check in the hole.
Who wins and who loses?
Tom Yingling, Westminster
Maryland needs to plug the dike and reduce the flood of money flowing into Delaware.
I've visited Delaware Park and you can hardly throw a quarter in its parking lot without hitting a Maryland-tagged car.
This state already condones gambling via the lottery and related games of chance.
What is it about slots that is so terrible we keep sending Maryland money over the state line by the car and busload?
Herb Butler, Perry Hall
Do I think Maryland's tracks need slots to compete?
Is the Pope Catholic? Is the rabbi Jewish?
Robert Rosen, Ellicott City
To me this is a no-brainer. We have gambling now; just look in just about any bar or restaurant.
The real question is: Who should benefit from this lucrative business? My answer is, the overtaxed people of Maryland.
The state should let the tracks have slot machines on their premises, but collect most of the profits for tax relief for Maryland's people.
J. E. Barrett, Baltimore
The Delaware and Charles Town, W.Va., tracks draw a lot of Maryland customers. With slots in Maryland, our tracks would compete on a more equitable basis.
Tracks in Maryland would have to change quite a bit in catering to their customers, too. But it would be worth the change.
George Mohr, Towson
Maryland race tracks should add slot machines, modernize and improve their facilities.
In addition, the state should allocate funds to improve commercial areas adjacent to the facilities (especially Pimlico).
Bill Arwady, Towson
Slots in Maryland are way overdue, which has cost the state millions and millions of dollars.
My wife and I go to Atlantic City, N.J., casinos about once a month. We also go to the Dover, Del., casino and most of the people I talk to there are from Maryland.
If our governor wants to raise money, I say: Bring the slots to Maryland and let the games begin.
Lou Eubank, Cub Hill
Because of the sport's cruelty to horses, animal lovers hope Maryland's tracks will not only shun slot machines but quit this ugly business altogether.
B. J. Small, Baltimore
If Maryland is to avoid ever-increasing subsidies for racing, I believe our race tracks must include slot machine gambling.