Judge kills Anne Arundel slots referendum
Opponents of a proposed slots casino at a suburban Maryland mall lost a battle when a judge ruled their effort to block the gaming site through a public vote on the matter was not legal.
Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Ronald Silkworth ruled Friday that a zoning ordinance enacted by the county to allow the facility is not subject to a referendum.
Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. had sued the Anne Arundel County elections board, saying it overlooked fraud in a petition drive to put the issue before the voters.
Alan Rifkin, attorney for two citizens group opposed to the mall slots and the Maryland Jockey Club, said he plans to appeal the decision.
Rifkin said he respects the court's order but "zoning and planning ordinances have always been subject to referendum."
"When the people voted in 2008 to allow slots facilities they did so with a clear understanding that those facilities were subject to all planning and zoning laws. There has been no appropriation of any revenue from a slots facility yet ... We are confident that, on appeal, [the referendum] will be approved for the ballot."
- Staff and Wire reports
By Aaron C. Davis | June 25, 2010; 7:10 PM ET