On December 6th, 2007, now that the Maryland General Assembly has approved a slots bill, Laurel residents and city officials are preparing for major campaigning before the November 2008 referendum. A majority vote will permit slots parlors at Laurel Park racing track in Anne Arundel County near Laurel City, Allegany, Cecil and Worcester counties and in Baltimore City.
A similar bill that shows how the slot machines will be enforced and how profits will be allocated also passed the legislature. The bill said that impact money will be handed to the city of Laurel on a yearly basis. Local government requires impact costs for new development. Kevin McGee, the president of the Laurel Clergy Association said that they will actively campaign against the slot machines on the referendum.
The organization is concerned about the impending rise of crimes, traffic, gambling addiction and others because of the slot machines. They will also launch an education drive that will outline the effects of the slot machines. The Russett Community Association has not taken an official position regarding the slot machines yet.
President Tim Reyburn commented that Maryland City, which has 20,000 residents who live near the Laurel race course, conducted an informal survey which half of its members accepts slot machines and the other half do not want it. Russett’s organization, which has 3,800 members who also live near the racing track, may survey its members before the November vote.