Late on Monday, February 22, the much-anticipated decision by the Maryland Racing Commission was released: in a vote of 7-0 (with two abstentions) the commission approved the Maryland Jockey Club’s request for full-time, year-round off-track betting parlor in the Maryland State Fair grandstands. The Timonium parlor will be the fourth OTB in Maryland, and the first in Baltimore County.
Maryland law already allowed for an OTB at the state fairgrounds, which was operational during the 10 days of the August state fair; state law did not limit the OTB days to 10. Nevertheless, in order to expand, permission was needed from the Racing Commission.
Residents and local elected officials, however, fearful of gambling and that the OTB would become a slots parlor, have vowed to fight the facility via local zoning legislation.
For more information, see Jeff Barker’s article in The Baltimore Sun.