Slots should be at tracks

December 20, 2009

While I believe that slots will create jobs wherever they spring up, it shouldn't be necessary to diminish thousands of jobs and the entire Maryland horse racing industry to do so. When the Anne Arundel County Council votes on slots Monday, it would make much better sense to add to the job force instead of eliminating a lot to create a few. Installing the slots at the racetracks would save the jobs of thousands who would most likely not be able to find employment elsewhere. In addition, the historic institution of horse racing would survive and thrive. Ancillary and surrounding industries would also benefit by enriching the farms, truck sales, veterinarians, feed companies, etc.

One need only to look at the state of Michigan to see the result of bad judgment and the corruption of lawmakers who heeded the promises of wealthy developers and casino lobbyists. The Michigan thoroughbred industry, once one of the best in the country, was reduced to bush-league status by the casino industry that didn't have the foresight to see how much better sense it would have made to use the racetracks as their venue and offer their patrons a live, exciting product. Slots alone will create a limited number of jobs, while enhancing horse racing with the revenue from slots will create many more opportunities. A slots parlor 10 minutes away from Laurel Park would be devastating!

Let's all hope the Anne Arundel County Council members vote no on the zoning bill to allow slots at a crowded shopping mall instead of the Laurel Park racetrack.Michael Sassin, Holland, Pa.

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