ANNAPOLIS – The developer who wants to put slots at Arundel Mills Mall has a rosier outlook than most when it comes to the state’s revenue generating prospects from the controversial machines.
“The revenue that the state hoped to receive is going to be exceeded,” said David Cordish on WYPR’s “Midday with Dan Rodricks” radio show Thursday.
His company, Cordish Cos., intends to build a massive entertainment and gambling facility next to the shopping mall off of Route 100 in Anne Arundel County.
The state received only four complete bids for fewer than half of the 15,000 machines allowed under a referendum Maryland voters passed in November. Even if all 6,550 machines are approved, the state stands to lose about half of the $600 million it promised slots would generate for education.
It might take an extra year for the state to reach its revenue estimates, but it will happen, Cordish said.
Cordish expects other developers, all of whom have submitted bids for fewer than the maximum number allowed for each site, to increase their requests over time.
Cordish has already requested the maximum number of slots for the Anne Arundel County license, 4,750. A state commission isn’t expected to decide on any of the proposals for several months.
One way Cordish doesn’t want to increase slots earnings — putting machines 15 minutes away from Arundel Mills, at BWI-Marshall Airport.
“It would clearly be inappropriate at the airport,” Cordish said. “It would not be a good idea.”
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Calvert, said Tuesday that putting slot machines at Maryland’s biggest airport would be a great way to capture out-of-state money and wouldn’t interfere with the Arundel Mills proposal. Delegate Eric Bromwell, D-Baltimore County, has introduced a bill to put slots at the airport, but it’s not expected to pass the House.
Cordish also said his gambling facility will benefit the surrounding neighborhood by increasing the level of security and adding additional free parking spaces which could be used by mall shoppers.
And despite the state throwing out a bid to put slots at Laurel Park race track for failing to include the licensing fee, Cordish believes his facility will help Maryland’s racing industry more than the Laurel Park bid could have.
“We will do more for racing by having it at Arundel Mills than if we are actually connected to a race track,” he said. “We will maximize revenues for the state.”
Of the slots proceeds, 9.5 percent is designated for horse racing interests.
By Capital News Service’s Dylan Waugh.