Casino company fires lobbyist for comment

October 23, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A Las Vegas-based casino company that is scouting sites in Baltimore has fired its Maryland lobbyist for suggesting the state might allow destination-resort casinos.

The lobbyist, Michael Gisriel, told The Sun that he believed there was a chance full-scale casinos could emerge from the coming legislative session despite opposition from Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and House and Senate leaders.

Ameristar Executive Vice President Gordon R. Kanofsky said in a letter to those officials that "Mr. Gisriel was not authorized to make these statements to the media on behalf of Ameristar Casinos. Further, Mr. Gisriel's comments do not reflect the position of Ameristar Casinos regarding the legalization of gaming in Maryland."

Kanofsky added that Ameristar "recognizes what a sensitive and complex issue this is" and said company officials hope to meet with top elected officials "to discuss the pros and cons of destination-style gaming."

Gisriel said his contract expires Nov. 30 and that he was told Ameristar did not plan to renew it. "I wish them well," he said.

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