Bill would put Prince George's slots on November ballot

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Local,Maryland,Ben Giles

Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker made a late push to get a slots referendum introduced in the General Assembly, despite maintaining that he's still on the fence when it comes to gambling in Prince George's County.

Maryland Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters plans to introduce a bill Monday that would bring slots to a vote on the November ballot. The referendum would allow for 4,750 slot machines at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington or at the National Harbor in Oxon Hill.

Peters, chairman of the Prince George's County state Senate delegation, said Baker asked him to introduce the bill and that it was his obligation to do so despite his own objections to slots.

As recently as Wednesday, however, Baker shied away from supporting slots. The county executive said he's made it clear that he supports anything that brings new revenue to Prince George's.

"[Slots] could be something I could support if in fact it brings additional revenues to the county where we could pay for public safety and pay for education," Baker said Wednesday.

Sources said Baker was a part of the negotiation process for the referendum, which includes revenues for the state and enhanced revenue for gaming operators -- an assertion Baker denied.

"This is not the county executive's bill and the county executive was not involved in drafting this bill," said spokesman Scott Peterson.

<table style="float: right; border-collapse: collapse; background-color: aliceblue; padding: 5px 0pt; margin: 5px 15px 5px 0pt; width: 277px; font-family: arial; font-size: 11px; line-height: 12px; border: 1px solid rgb(239, 225, 171); box-shadow: 5px 5px 5px rgb(204, 204, 204); height: 56px;" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr style="font-size:14px;line-height:15px;color:darkred;"><td><strong/><strong> </strong><strong>Examiner archive<br/></strong></td> </tr><tr style="font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold;"><td> <li><a href="http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/maryland/2012/01/pg-can-build-new-hospital-without-slots-revenue-baker-says/2086536" style=" font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">P.G. can build new hospital without slots revenue, Baker says (1/11/12)</span></a><br/></li> </td> </tr><tr style="font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold;"><td> <li><a href="http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/maryland/2011/12/state-officials-spar-over-slots-prince-georges/2031496" style=" font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">State officials spar over slots in Prince George's (12/24/11)</span></a><span style="text-decoration: underline;"/><br/></li> </td> </tr><tr style="font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold;"><td> <li><a href="http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/capital-land/2011/12/fairfax-approves-dulles-rail-deal/1979316">Baker keeps slots on the table in Prince George's  (12/12/11)</a></li> </td> </tr><tr style="font-size: 12px; font-weight: bold;"><td> <li><a href="http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/capital-land/2011/11/pg-council-tables-slots-ban">Prince George's Council puts off slots ban (11/15/11)</a></li> </td> </tr></tbody></table> </span> <span id="last"></span> <div id="ndn-video-single-bottom" class="ndn-widget" style="display: none;"></div> <div class="print-url">Web URL: <a 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