4700 slot machines will be leased in what will be the largest casino in Anne Arundel County, a Maryland board has voted.
The 2-1 vote by the board, which went ahead yesterday, means $168 million of taxpayer’s money will be spent even though state officials in Maryland lowered their revenue projections from slot machines over the next several years.
In a report by CBSNews, Lottery director, Stephen Martino, said the lease has been planned in a way that means that if the gambling machines don’t do well, they will be replaced by more popular ones. Sounds pretty logical. Martino added that by leasing the machines, the state is also better able to keep up with technological changes.
Others in support of the machines and voted for them were Gov. Martin O’Malley and Treasurer Nancy Kopp who, like Martino, are Democrats as well as Board of Public Works members.
So what’s the big deal with the Anne Arundel County casino? Well, it’s projected to generate $362.7 million in revenue for the fiscal year that begins on 1 July next year, according to a revised analysis by state analysts in October. It is also expected to raise an estimated $420 million annually in the next three fiscal years.
In approving the framework for slots in a 2007 special session, Maryland lawmakers decided the state should have control of the machines to ensure greater oversight and transparency. However, slot machines in the state are not raising as much money as had been projected. Overall, their revenue estimates are $474.3 million – that’s 12% lower than previous estimates for fiscal years 2012-2016.