Cecil County location will offer 1,500 slot machines

A Maryland commission has approved Penn National Gaming’s bid to operate 1,500 slot machines off Interstate 95 in Cecil County in the northeastern corner of the state.

Construction of the facility is expected to begin this week with opening planned for the end of next year, according to Penn National.

Last month, the commission awarded the state’s first license to a relatively small bidder, Ocean Downs racetrack, on the Eastern Shore. The developer of that planned 800-machine facility, to be located about five miles west of Ocean City, plans to open on Memorial Day weekend.

Two much larger proposals, one in Baltimore, one in Anne Arundel County, have run into problems and the commission has imposed a December deadline on those bids.

A proposed 4,750-machine casino at the Arundel Mills shopping mall remains mired in a zoning fight before the County Council. The developer, Cordish Companies, have yet to submit revised plans to the commission.

Developers of a planned 3,750-machine casino in Baltimore have yet to pay an additional $19.5 million licensing fee and also submit revised plans.

Commission Chairman Donald C. Fry said rejection of both bids “would certainly be an option” if the “missing pieces” were not in place by December 17, according to news reports.