PERRYVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — The first slots casino to open in the state is now at the center of a controversy.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains how a plan to draw more business is putting Hollywood Casino in Perryville at odds with some of the locals.

Martin Cleary was among the estimated 80,000 drivers who pass the I-95 exit to Hollywood Casino in Perryville but if he hadn’t taken a wrong turn, he would never have known it was there. That’s why the casino wants to put up a 175-foot sign.

“I might stop in,” Cleary said. “It wouldn’t be high on my priority list but we’d stop in just to see if the food’s any good, have a look around.”

But would the size of the sign be worth it?

“I think it’s a bad idea. I think because we live right across the bridge and would attract a ton of light and be disruptive. That’s what I think,” said Alaina Shly.

“But at the same time, if it causes more…economic growth at the casino, that could turn into more jobs in the community and so there’s goods and bads about both side of it,” said Chris Shly.

Residents Alaina and Chris Shly represent both sides of the debate in Perryville. Perryville commissioners are also divided.

Commissioner Michelle Linkey is opposed to the size of the sign.

“Being able to see the sign from backyards, it’s just not good for the town. I know I don’t want to see ’em. I don’t think anybody else does either,” Linkey said.

Bill Hayles, Hollywood Casino’s general manager, says, “I am very hopeful the town of Perryville sees the positive impact we have had on the local community in the last year and fully understands how a sign attracting customers off I-95 is important for the future health of business.”

There’s agreement there.

“I think it would be good for advertisement and people wouldn’t get lost as much trying to find it ’cause you can’t hardly see it,” said Miles Hardy.

“I think the idea would be great because I look at it as more revenue for the county up here,” said Jerome Reed.

But money isn’t everything.

“I just think it would be an eyesore,” said one woman.

The commissioners vote Tuesday.

The Perryville casino has grossed more than $100 million since it opened in September 2010.

Comments (7)
  1. willie says:

    Yeah, ruin the highway with a sign. Signs are illegal on the interstate’s.

  2. ciara says:

    I live in Baltimore and I go to Delaware Park instead. Perryville is to small.

  3. Cecil resident says:

    Its I-95, who cares, drive up and down any major interstate and you will see signs. And I do believe that I-95 was there long before a lot of thoes new homes were built and I doubt they will see the sign, heck you have high voltage power pole towers running right next to the neighborhood.
    But people aren’t happy unless they are misrable always complaining about somthing so stupid!

  4. Mike says:


    Are you an idiot??
    I95 is full of signs and they are not illegal.

  5. Pam Huss says:

    Wow people are such friggin cry babies! They want the economy to stabilize, then complain when a business is trying to contribute to that very thing. I95 is full of signs. And with trees and utility poles and the like, unless you live right next door, you’re not going to see it from your back yard.

    1. Cecil Resident says:

      And these cry babies FAIL to tell you that the Casino is no where near a residential area. IN FACT it is on the otherside of I-95 AND there is a shopping center with a tall sign and then a forest before you even get tot he residential areas.

  6. sheriff says:

    Federal law prohibits signs along the interstate. That is why you see these monsters off the interstate sticking up hundreds of ft. If you want highways looking like downtown Glen Burnie, go ahead, who gives a rat’s a$$ besides me.

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