Rosecroft Raceway Could Become History

Gale Horton Gay | 9/25/2012, 9:10 p.m.

Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman held a press conference on Sept. 20 at Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring to announce their continued support of Question 7 which will appear on the ballot in November.

"This is not just about gaming. It's about economic development. It's about good jobs. It's about expanding opportunity not only in Prince George's County but also across the state of Maryland," Baker said. "Make no mistake: This is about Maryland versus West Virginia. Those dollars need to stay right here at home."

A press release about the three county executives endorsement of Question 7 stated that Penn National Gaming recently launched a multi-million dollar advertising campaign, "in an attempt to mislead Maryland voters and protect the $170 million a year that its Charles Town Casino in West Virginia makes off of Maryland residents."

However in an open letter to the public, PNG countered, "It will be said that our opposition to the law is to protect our existing facility in Charles Town, West Virginia [Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races]. If that were the case then we never would have offered to invest $500 million in a new establishment at Rosecroft. It really is that simple."

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races currently offers live table games such as poker, black jack and roulette.

Asked if closure of Rosecroft Raceway would be years away should the measure be approved and a casino in the county built, Bailey said "not necessarily" and that a shutdown could happen sooner.

"If there's no hope to give, the answer would be clear - the county and state are not interested in keeping Rosecroft and racing alive," Bailey said.