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Harness racing-related election news

November 07, 2012

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One day after casino expansion in Maryland was approved by voters, Penn National Gaming, which owns Rosecroft Raceway, issued a statement saying it was disappointed in the outcome. Penn National reportedly spent more than $41 million trying to convince voters to defeat Question 7 on Tuesday's ballot, which allows the state to add table games at the exisiting slots sites as well as a sixth casino in Prince George's County, where Rosecroft is located, but not at the track itself.
Penn National's statement noted that the company had "spent a lot of time, energy and resources to educate voters on the flaws of Issue 7," and that the state should have allowed Rosecroft to be considered for the site of the casino.
The new Prince George's County casino cannot open until 2016. Table games can now begin early next year as well as when a new casino opens in Baltimore City.
The Baltimore Sun reported that Question 7 prompted the most spending ever for a campaign in Maryland. A story it published Wednesday (Nov. 7) said, "MGM, hoping to become the operator of a glittering $800 million "destination resort" casino at National Harbor in Prince George's County, urged voters to clear the way for its plans by approving Question 7. Penn National, seeing National Harbor as a threat to its flagship casino in Charles Town, W.Va., matched MGM nearly dollar for dollar in its bid to defeat the measure.

"While the cost of the campaign was enormous — more than double Maryland's most expensive gubernatorial race — the stakes for the two companies were many times greater. Gambling industry experts said that over the long term, a National Harbor casino could cost Penn National hundreds of millions of dollars while MGM could earn billions at National Harbor."

In Florida, voters approved slots at pari-mutuel operations in Palm Beach County, which means the Rooney family, which owns Palm Beach Kennel Club, can put them in and compete with the Isle Pompano Park, which has been the closest gaming for residents of the county. Also in Florida, Dan Daley, the son of Dan and Ann-Marie Daley, won Coral Springs city council Seat 2 by a margin of 56.6-43.4 percent.
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