O'Malley, Ehrlich Square Off on Mall Slots

Jackpots at Arundel Mills Mall in contention

By Nancy Norman
|  Sunday, Jul 25, 2010  |  Updated 8:16 AM EDT
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O'Malley, Ehrlich Square Off on Mall Slots

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Bob Ehrlich vs. Martin O'Malley

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and his predecessor and gubernatorial rival, Bob Ehrlich, are on opposites of a planned slots casino near Arundel Mills Mall. Anne Arundel County residents will vote this fall -- thumbs up or down -- on whether to allow 4,750 slot machines near the grounds of the Arundel Mills Mall.

O'Malley wants to keep slots corralled at racetracks. The Democratic incumbent backs the residents who live near Arundel Mills Mall who fear mall slots will cause traffic congestion and draw crime. Ehrlich, the Republican candidate, backs the plan to build slot machines, upscale restaurants and live entertainment near the mall area.

Maryland voters endorsed a referendum in 2008 to legalize slot machines in the state. But so far no slot casinos have opened. The ballot issue this fall will determine whether the county changes zoning laws to permit the slot machines on mall grounds.

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