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NEWS
February 15, 1992
Maryland's horse breeding and racing industry makes a strong case for off-track betting. The industry, worth $1 billion annually to the Maryland economy, has been staggered by a steep recession that has endangered many breeding farms. Unless something is done, racing officials fear for the future of their industry.But is off-track betting the answer, as a coalition of racing officials contends? Or does OTB offer the unappetizing prospect of expanded gambling that could lure unsavory figures to the state?
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BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | February 27, 2011
— A mostly gray-haired crowd of gamblers scans dozens of TV sets and places bets on horse races broadcast from tracks around the country at the Cracked Claw restaurant in this Frederick County community. One longtime patron, Chris Kovin, said he comes because he prefers to hoist a beer and socialize while watching the races, rather than placing online bets from home. But, he acknowledges, the Cracked Claw "has definitely seen better days. " The state's four remaining off-track betting facilities are struggling along with the declining horse-racing industry, itself hobbled over the years by the sport's waning popularity and by competition for gambling dollars from nearby slot-machine parlors and casinos.
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SPORTS
By Ross Peddicord and Ross Peddicord,Sun Staff Writer | April 8, 1995
Plans are being made to open Virginia's first off-track betting parlor, even though Colonial Downs, the state's first racetrack, has yet to be built and is undergoing what is expected to be a lengthy appeals process.Arnold Stansley, who is building the track near Richmond in conjunction with the Maryland Jockey Club, submitted an application yesterday to the Virginia Racing Commission, asking the board for approval to open a 15,000-square-foot off-track betting parlor in Hampton.The prospective facility, located in a shopping center south of Newport News, would be big enough to handle 1,600 fans, according to Stansley's estimates.
SPORTS
By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN REPORTER | September 19, 2007
The Maryland Racing Commission learned yesterday that the Maryland Jockey Club is working on a proposal for a new simulcast betting facility at a restaurant in Solomons in Calvert County. It would be the fifth off-track betting (OTB) facility regulated by the commission, joining The Cracked Claw near Frederick, North East Racing & Sports Club in North East, the Cambridge Turf Club in Cambridge and the Riverboat Restaurant in Colonial Beach, Va., which straddles the Maryland/Virginia state line.
SPORTS
By Marty McGee | January 10, 1991
Trouble in the Maryland harness-racing industry has raised doubts about the prospect of off-track betting in the state this year, but not everyone is ready to cast the issue aside for another year.OTB proponents say that once a solution has been found to the harness industry problems, OTB will be considered on its merits by the General Assembly."I'm confident OTB legislation will be passed this session," said Maryland Racing Commission member Dr. Alan Levey, who helped develop guidelines on a bill that has been endorsed by a joint legislative subcommittee.
SPORTS
By Ross Peddicord and Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer | February 6, 1993
Off-track betting is coming to Hagerstown.The proposed OTB facility, to be located in the Ramada Inn Convention Center, has the potential to become the most successful in Maryland, according to track executives.Jim Mango, senior vice president and general manager of Laurel and Pimlico race courses, said yesterday that he has reached an agreement with Frank Turner, owner of the complex, to open an OTB parlor there. He said it could be operating by April."We haven't signed a contract, but Turner assured me his word is good," Mango said.
SPORTS
By Ross Peddicord and Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer | December 14, 1993
Community groups who had opposed the opening of the state's first off-track betting parlor in Urbana earlier this year were absent yesterday when the Maryland Racing Commission renewed the parlor's license for 1994 at the board's monthly meeting."
SPORTS
By M. Dion Thompson and M. Dion Thompson,Annapolis Bureau of The Sun | January 23, 1991
ANNAPOLIS -- Any horse-racing fan with dreams of placing bets at off-track parlors in Maryland is advised to forget those notions this year. The Senate's leadership said yesterday it will not consider any OTB legislation in 1991.The senators said they were concerned about a possible threat to state lottery revenues, the financial problems of harness-track owner Mark Vogel, the organization of the OTB system and the simple lack of votes in favor of OTB."There's a consensus, I think, among all senators that 1991 is not the year for this issue to be discussed," said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Prince George's.
SPORTS
By Ross Peddicord and Ross Peddicord,Sun Staff Correspondent | February 7, 1992
ANNAPOLIS -- The fans were about the only special-interest group in the racing industry without an organized voice at the off-track betting hearings yesterday.But they needn't worry.Their interests were represented by John H. "Jack" Mosner, chairman of the Maryland Racing Commission, who has become something of a surrogate spokesman for John Q. Horseplayer.When Mosner testified in front of the Senate Finance Committee favor of OTB, he spoke in terms of how it would affect the average fan."
SPORTS
By Ross Peddicord and Ross Peddicord,SUN STAFF | November 9, 1995
In what one commissioner termed "a low point" in the board's history, the Maryland Racing Commission granted an OTB permit to the Port Tobacco Marina in Charles County yesterday despite opposition from residents who live next to or near the facility.The move expands the state's number of horse racing off-track betting outlets to five.Vincent "Cap" Mona, proprietor of the Port Tobacco bar/restaurant/boating and betting facility, said the pari-mutuel part of the operation will start taking horse bets tomorrow.
SPORTS
By Greg Garland and Greg Garland,SUN STAFF | March 27, 2002
CAMBRIDGE - Over the objections of local gambling opponents, the Maryland Racing Commission last night approved a permit for William Rickman Jr. to operate an off-track betting parlor in this Eastern Shore community. Rickman said he was pleased with the commission's unanimous vote to grant the permit and expects to have the 10,000-square- foot facility in a strip shopping center off U.S. Route 50 open for business by August. About 65 area residents - most opposed to the OTB - turned out for a public hearing on the permit application, held at Governor's Hall In Sailwind Park.
NEWS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | November 28, 2001
FREDERICK - The Maryland Racing Commission has granted the first new license to operate a horse track in the state in more than 50 years. At a final hearing in Frederick, the commission gave the go-ahead yesterday to William Rickman Jr. and his father, William Rickman Sr., to build a small track in Allegany County. The Rickmans, who own racetracks in Maryland and Delaware, must obtain numerous county and state permits before beginning construction. Once that permit process is completed - it could be lengthy because of opposition by Allegany County residents - the track would be built within two years, Rickman Jr. said.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | October 10, 2001
Patrons of Maryland horse tracks and off-track-betting centers can watch and wager on races from Keeneland beginning today. The MidAtlantic Cooperative, a group of 17 tracks including Pimlico and Laurel Park, reached an agreement yesterday with Keeneland that will allow the Keeneland signal to flow into Maryland betting facilities. The mid-Atlantic tracks had refused to simulcast Keeneland races after Keeneland lowered its takeout, cutting into the receiving tracks' profits. Martin Lieberman, executive director of the cooperative, declined to reveal specifics of the deal.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | December 16, 2000
The battle for control of horse racing in Western Maryland did not die when one side dropped plans this week for building a racetrack. The battle lines became clearer, their arguments sharper. The warriors, Joe De Francis and William Rickman Jr., have begun criticizing each other's plans and motivations. Their conflict reaches beyond Western Maryland into the issue of what's best for racing in the state as a whole. Rickman, who owns Delaware Park and wants to build a horse track in Allegany County, says the horse-racing industry would benefit from competition.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Jay Apperson and Tom Keyser and Jay Apperson,SUN STAFF | December 13, 2000
An alliance led by the Maryland Jockey Club has dropped plans to build a horse track in Western Maryland and will instead propose to construct off-track-betting parlors in or near Cumberland and Hagerstown. This shift in strategy would leave William Rickman Jr. as the lone applicant to build a track in Allegany County. But it would not end the battle for control of horse racing in Western Maryland. The two sides would merely fight with different weapons: Rickman with a racetrack, the jockey club-led alliance with two OTBs.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | September 15, 2000
NORTH EAST - The much-maligned Poor Jimmy's off-track betting parlor in Cecil County was to reopen today with a new name, a dramatically new look and the potential for serving as a model for similar parlors in Timonium, Montgomery County and downtown Baltimore. The newly christened Northeast Racing and Sports Club was unveiled this week by Joe De Francis, president and CEO of the Maryland Jockey Club, which manages OTBs in the state. He showed off the facility on Route 40 to a select group of officials and racing fans.
SPORTS
By Ross Peddicord and Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer | June 22, 1992
Ted Snell, president and chief operating officer of Rosecroft and Delmarva raceways, the state's two harness tracks, envisions an off-track betting parlor in each of Maryland's 23 counties.He and Tom Lattanzi, the Pimlico-Laurel executive whom thoroughbred operator Joe De Francis has put in charge of OTB site locations, are handling inquiries from potential operators of the satellite simulcast outlets.Legislation allowing the parlors, which must be Sports Palace-type facilities (restaurant and bar amenities)
SPORTS
By Ross Peddicord | April 21, 1993
The Maryland Racing Commission is holding not one, but two, public hearings in Frederick County today to listen to public comment concerning the proposed opening of the state's first off-track betting outlet at the Cracked Claw restaurant in Urbana.The first hearing is at the restaurant at 10 a.m. "But a number of people wrote or called their county delegate [Tom Hattery-D, Frederick] and said they couldn't make it at that time," said commission chairman John H. "Jack" Mosner Jr. "So, in order to accommodate everyone and to make sure that all their feelings and concerns are heard, we will hold another meeting later in the day which will be chaired by [commission member]
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | April 26, 2000
Angered by another delay in renovating the Poor Jimmy's off-track betting parlor, the Maryland Racing Commission threatened yesterday to fine the Maryland Jockey Club or revoke its license if it did not reopen the Cecil County OTB by Sept. 15. That is the latest in a series of reopening dates offered by MJC officials as they attempt to turn the rundown betting parlor into what they promise will be a state-of-the-art OTB. Meeting at Pimlico, racing commissioners reacted angrily to the news.
SPORTS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | December 29, 1999
In a dramatic and costly turnabout, the Maryland Jockey Club has decided to spend more than $1 million transforming the Poor Jimmy's off-track betting parlor in Cecil County into a "showplace" for future OTBs in the state.Joe De Francis, president and CEO of the Maryland Jockey Club, told the Maryland Racing Commission at its monthly meeting yesterday at Laurel Park that "we're poised on the brink of finally creating a facility everybody involved in Maryland racing will be very, very proud of."
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