Making a Difference? Probably Not…
Strieff noted below that the House subcommittee removed Ocean Downs from the slots plan that the full committee will vote on today. William Rickman, owner of Ocean Downs doled out over $400,000 in campaign contributions to pro-slots politicians, some $56,000 to O’Malley and Anthony Brown alone.
However, the subcommittee did not just remove Ocean Downs, they replaced it with a potential site in Fredrick near I-270. Thanks to WBAL’s Robert Lang and the Fredrick News Post we now know that Rickman owns 120 acres in the City of Fredrick and has always had strong interest in putting a slots parlor on that land.
I had hope that stripping Ocean Downs from the any slots bill might have been the deal breaker on slots, but now with Rickman owning land in the exact same location that the subcommittee proposed to substitute for Ocean Downs, that hope is gone. Looks like William Rickman is in for a nice return on his investment.
The House Ways and Means Committee should present the bill to the full House for a vote today. If Luiz Simmons and the anti-slots forces wilt, then everything is a done deal.
There is a possibility of another filibuster in the Senate, but that would require Senators Zirkin, Dyson, DeGrange and Kramer to actually have a modicum of concern for their constituents. We already know they don’t.
Ron Smith nailed it when this all began three weeks ago:
“one can only clutch ones’ butt cheeks and await the dénouement.”