Unprepared For Local Slots Impact Funds?

Initial revenue numbers for the Casino at Ocean Downs were released last week, and it confirms a lot of money is being spent over on Route 589.

That’s surely no surprise, but the sheer volume of dollars flowing through the shore’s first casino did shock some. In 28 days, according to a Maryland Lottery report, more than $3 million was generated by the 750 video lottery terminals, or just about $107,000 per day. The average revenue per machine per day came in at $144.

According to state law, roughly $1.5 million of the revenue will now go to the state’s Educational Trust Fund; the casino will receive about $1 million; the state’s horseracing purse account gets $212,479; $100,000 will be given to the county in the form of a grant; $60,000 to Maryland Lottery; $45,000 to support small business; $33,000 to Ocean City; $16,000 to Berlin; and $16,000 to Ocean Pines.

Although the numbers are impressive, particularly in light of the fact it’s January in a resort area, what’s most disturbing to us is state officials, in general, do not appear to be organized at all in disbursing these funds, and local officials in Worcester County have even less of a clue of what they are going to do with these funds when they are received.

This is unacceptable, and a fire needs to be sparked under all involved here. This money needs to get out into the communities as soon as possible, and a delay is unwarranted and could prove costly to governments trying to formalize their budgets for the next fiscal year.

According to an article in The Daily Record last week, the Hollywood Casino Perryville, the first to open in Maryland, has generated $35.3 million in revenue, but the town of Perryville has yet to receive any funds. Cecil County has received some funding, but none since November from the state.

Cecil, like Worcester, appointed a council to determine where the funds are to be spent back in September. Yet, it has not met. That sounds familiar, as Worcester has a development council appointed as well, but it’s not met publicly yet either.

There are two primary concerns here — why is it taking so long for the funds to be disbursed from the state and how come the local counties are not prepared and ready to distribute them?

The Daily Record article reported Worcester has not even provided the state with bank account information so it can receive the money when it’s available for allocation, as of Feb. 10.

The local government needs to get with it and the development council must get together and formulate a plan for these funds. This money needs to get out in the community immediately. We don’t understand why there’s no sense of urgency, and that needs to change immediately.

One thought on “Unprepared For Local Slots Impact Funds?

  1. This is simply disgusting! The state is ready to cut educational funding, lay off teachers, and promises of funds generated by casinos are not being met. Someone is receiving something. There is no way that funds can sit and stagnate, without SOMEONE receiving something! This seems to be going the same way that Atlantic City has gone. Promises of renewing that state has never oome to pass. Is this going to be the lot for Maryland as well? This state has alrady run the horse racing industry into the ground. For those who do not understand how this is possible, go to neighboring states and you will find the casinos filled with people from the time the first bus arrives filled with people from Maryland too. People who bet on the track and spend their time at the slots between races. We are not now, and have not been for a long time, people with patience to sit and wait between races. Those days are long gone.
    I am going to write Senators Ben Cardin and Mikulski to look into the stagnant funds. I would also like to know why Maryland Lotto is going to be receiving some of these funds. They make enough money on their own and if not, “always according to state officials”, where is the money going?
    Perhaps we need an audit of all funds generated in this state and supposedly not distributing to the state. Start with the two casinos we have and what has been generated and not allocated. It is not rocket science, just do it! Teachers are depending on you to do it NOW! This could be the biggest scandal in Maryland history!
    People all over the world are sick and tired of being taken for a ride, while the officials we are suppose to trust are riding high. Ohio is waking up and ths Thursday Maryland will be right there too. It is time! Time for all these high riders to come up with some answers…no tongue in cheek, arm waving explanations that we have been swallowing for far too long. We have been paying them to do jobs that somehow it now looks like they have not been doing.
    March on Annapolis on Thursday March 3rd and demand answers! Support Maryland Teachers, the Unions and whatever else needs supporting. Who knows, you may be the next person to be screwed by Maryland State Government. If we do not support each other and demand answers to “what THEY tell us is wrong”, we cannot sit in a corner and cry!!

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