Anne Arundel County residents voted for Question A, which grants the required zoning for the Anne Arundel Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) facility at Arundel Mills Mall. The Maryland Jockey Club sought a vote against Question A with the hope that Laurel Park would have a chance to compete for the 4,750 machine casino. Support for the measure garnered 56% of the vote with 98% of the precincts reporting.
“The people of Anne Arundel County have spoken,” said Maryland Jockey president Tom Chuckas. “While we continue to believe that Laurel is the optimum location for VLTs in Anne Arundel County, the Maryland Jockey Club will now consider its options going forward and we will consult with the Maryland Racing Commission to enact the changes required as a result of this lost opportunity at Laurel.”
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The Maryland Jockey Club was founded in 1743 and is the longest standing organization in the state. Pimlico Race Course, home to the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of horse racing's famed Triple Crown, opened its doors in 1870 and is the second oldest track in the country. Laurel Park first appeared on the racing scene in 1911. The company also operates the Bowie Training Center in Prince George's County.
The state's racing industry was prominent in the mid-Atlantic region until slot machines in Delaware, West Virginia and Pennsylvania created an unbalanced playing field in terms of purses and breeding bonuses.
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