Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 12:33:00 AM
Maryland awarded its first license for slot machine gambling Wednesday, giving Ocean Downs racetrack on the Eastern Shore permission to operate up to 800 machines as early as Memorial Day.
Marking a milestone in Maryland's long-running battle over legalizing slots, a state commission unanimously approved the first of five sites authorized by voters in last year's election.
"By our action today, we are showing this is moving forward," said Donald C. Fry, chairman of the seven-member commission, which began weighing bids in February after a bitter legislative debate over the issue that dominated state politics for years.
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Gambling Factoid #22: the word 'casino' comes directly from Italian, where it originally meant 'little house' or 'cottage.' It was first used in English to describe a gambling establishment in the 1800s.
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