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Panel Seeks Changes At Rocky Gap To Entice Bidder

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland’s slot machine commission decided Tuesday to recommend legislative changes to make a site in western Maryland more attractive to potential bidders.

The panel is sending a letter to the General Assembly’s presiding officers asking for changes in the law to allow a slot machine license holder in Maryland to have two licenses, if the second license includes the site at Rocky Gap State Park. Currently, a company can only have one of five potential slot machine licenses in Maryland.

So far, three licenses have been awarded. Two casinos have opened, including ones in Perryville and at the Ocean Downs horse racing track near Ocean City. A license also has been awarded to a site in Anne Arundel County.

The commission also is recommending that the state waive a $3 million license fee for 500 slot machines at Rocky Gap. If a bidder wanted more than 500 machines, the bidder would have to pay fees for additional ones. The location is authorized to have up to 1,500 slot machines.

Don Fry, who is the chairman of the slot machine commission, said the commission has not yet received any inquiries from specific parties who would be interested in bidding on the site after the changes. Fry said the commission wants the process to be open to everyone. Before deciding on the recommended changes, Fry said commission members talked to some previously interested companies about what deterred them from following through on a bid.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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