California Slots Proposal Advances

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propSACRAMENTO, Calif. —  The California Police Chiefs Association announced its opposition to allowing slot machines at race tracks and non-Indian card clubs.

The proposal would “dramatically” expand casino gambling, the association said, putting 30,000 slot machines in 16 urban locations in six heavily populated counties. Hollywood Park in Inglewood would become one of the world’s largest casinos, and even the smallest casinos would have several hundred slot machines, the association said.

A spokesman for initiative backers did not immediately return a telephone message from The Associated Press.

The proposal moved closer to the November ballot Monday when the state attorney general approved the legal title and summary for the measure.

The measure now requires technical approval from the secretary of state before proponents can begin collecting the 598,105 valid signatures of registered voters needed to put the initiative before voters.

Maryland Lawmakers Got Thousands in Donations from Gaming Interests

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Lawmakers who supported legalizing slot machines in Maryland received thousands from gambling interests last year, campaign finance reports show.

Gov. Robert Ehrlich, who raised $2.5 million last year, got at least $45,000 from gambling interests, according to the campaign finance reports. The interests included developers with gambling links and lobbyists whose client lists include casinos and racetracks as well as non-gambling businesses.

Ehrlich took in the maximum allowed by state law — $4,000 — from casino giant Harrah’s; the owners of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course; and William Rickman Jr., who operates Ocean Downs outside of Ocean City and holds a license to build a track in Western Maryland.

Ehrlich spokesman Greg Massoni said the governor has supported the legalization of slot machine gambling at the state’s racetracks for more than a decade.

“The dollars that they contributed to fund-raisers this year didn’t bring them a slots bill,” Massoni told The (Baltimore) Sun. “It’s their view that he is the right man for the job, and it’s their right to (contribute).”

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