Worcester County Say No to Slots. Who Cares?
Yesterday we reported on the brief kefuffle that occurred when Senator Lowell Stoltzfus asked one of Governor O’Malley’s minions if the governor had been “bought” because he was proposing to locate slots in rural Worcester County at the Ocean Downs race track to the benefit of a major campaign contributor.
Now we will see if Senator Stoltzfus is correct.
The Worcester County Commissioners have asked Governor O’Malley to not locate slots in their county.
“The Worcester County Commissioners are opposed to any such video lottery terminals anywhere in our county, and would respectfully request that you oppose any such state legislation which would authorize video lottery terminal facilities in Worcester County,” Commissioner President James Purnell Jr. wrote in a letter dated Tuesday.
If local government has any meaning their request should be taken seriously. Slots will draw a lot more traffic than horse racing and the road network in Worcester County is ill equipped to handle it. Slots located at Ocean Downs either requires significant upgrades on and around state route 589 or a blythe disregard for the safety of travelers and quality of life for the residents.
In an ideal world the slots licenses would be auctioned and then the slot operators would have to negotiate with counties and municipalities amenable to their presence for a location.
This, however, is the O’Malley World. In it his political supporters are essentially given the licenses without regards to the income the state could generate or the impact upon communities. From what we have seen so far, Ocean Downs will get the slots licenses. O’Malley electoral strongholds will get the highway funds, to go along with the extra money they will get for their school systems, and Worcester County will get screwed. Get used to the idea.