No Referendum In MD

Published: June 29, 2010 04:59 pm EDT

A circuit court judge in Anne Arundel county. Maryland, has ended, for now, the Maryland Jockey Club’s hopes to halt the giant Cordish corporation’s plans

to build a casino there.

Judge Ronald A. Silkworth ruled on the strength of Maryland law that prohibits appropriations measures by public action or referendum.

The Maryland Jockey Club says it will appeal, but 23 years ago, when plans were afoot to put the issue of building baseball stadium Camden Yards to a public vote, the Court of Appeals said that was impermissible.

Judge Silkworth wrote in his 47-page decision that the 2008 vote to allow slots “would be delayed and thwarted, if not fatally undermined, by a referendum.”

It turns out that Magna Entertainment, which owned the Maryland Jockey Club at the time, probably would have had a casino at Laurel Park if it had not made the very costly mistake of not making a state-mandated pre-selection deposit.

(Harness Tracks of America)