New Spin on Gambling Debate: Are Those Bingo Machines Slots?
In what could signal the start of a video gambling gold rush in Maryland, an Anne Arundel bingo hall operator is seeking permission from the county to put devices that are virtually indistinguishable from slot machines into his establishment.
Dozens more bingo operators could follow suit in what gambling experts say is the latest wave of gambling expansion - essentially video slot machines that have been modified to technically comply with state laws that permit bingo but prohibit traditional slots. And the machines could flood the state regardless of what the General Assembly decides to do about legalizing slots because of county-by-county laws that allow bingo.
The state Senate has approved, for the second year in a row, a plan by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. to legalize slots, though it faces an uncertain future in coming weeks in the House of Delegates.