03/12/2010 12:00AM

Maryland petition gets sufficient signatures


The Anne Arundel County Board of Supervisors Maryland has verified enough signatures in a racetrack-led petition drive seeking to overturn zoning approvals for a casino at a shopping mall to put the issue on the ballot in November, according to the board's website.

As of Thursday, the board had verified 19,054 signatures collected by the petition organizers. A total of 18,790 signatures are needed to put the issue on the ballot.

The petition drive has been funded by the Maryland Jockey Club, the affiliate of Magna Entertainment Corp. that owns and operates Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course. Magna is attempting to overturn the zoning approval in order to sustain the possibility that Laurel could receive a casino license.

Magna filed for bankruptcy in March, 2009. It is currently marketing Laurel and Pimlico potential buyers, and the tracks are scheduled to go to auction later this month, though dates for the auctions of the properties have been delayed several times this year.

The developer of the casino, the Cordish Cos., received zoning approval for the project in December. The casino would be located at the Arundel Mills mall, near Laurel Park. State law provides for only one casino license in Anne Arundel County.