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Baltimore slots still on pace for June commission decision

After awarding the license for a slots casino at Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort in Allegany County, slots commission Chairman Donald C. Fry said Baltimore’s may not be far behind.

Fry, also president of the Greater Baltimore Committee, said the Maryland State Lottery Agency is still conducting its background check into a group led by Caesars Entertainment Corp. Once the background investigation is complete — probably in May — the commission would then review the agency’s report and the group’s finances.

That sets up the chance for a decision on the license in June, Fry said.

If approved, the license would be created in an air of uncertainty. A special legislative session could be called in August to discuss the addition of a sixth state slots license, for Prince George’s County. During the regular legislative session, a bill that would create a sixth license also allowed for table games to be added at every state casino. Both measures would have faced final approval in a voter referendum.

Caesars previously said they would support the bill because table games would make a Baltimore casino more valuable. Fry said in March that the state should “keep an eye” on adding table games.

“When the legislature passed the law in Maryland [allowing slots], we weren’t surrounded by states with tables games, and now we are,” Fry said. “If we want to maintain an competitive edge, that’s something they need to keep an eye on. …We’re not saying do it.”