Baker keeps slots on the table in Prince George's

Local,Capital Land,Maryland,Ben Giles

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker said Monday he is still open to bring slot machines and other casino-style games to the county if it will help generate more revenue.

“We’re keeping all our options open,” Baker told the Washington Post Monday morning. “I’ve learned from my days in Annapolis… that you can’t come down here and ask for revenue if you’re not willing to accept the revenue stream they come up with.”

Baker plans to request plenty of funds from the state legislature for Prince George’s, with a focus on improving schools and paying for a new hospital.

Prince George’s County officials signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this year with the University of Maryland Medical System and Dimensions Health Care to build a $600 million teaching hospital and regional medical center.

Baker has said repeatedly that while he has not taken a position as for or against slot machines in Prince George’s, he is unwilling to take any potential means of raising revenue for the cash-strapped county off the table while requesting millions of dollars from the General Assembly.

Penn National Gaming lobbied against a bill before the County Council in the fall that would have effectively banned slots from Prince George’s. The company wants to bring casino-style games to Rosecroft Raceway, which Penn National purchased out of bankruptcy earlier this year.

The council tabled the slots ban bill at its last legislative meeting of the year, and instead is urging a statewide ballot initiative to settle the issue. 

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