02/25/2004 12:00AM

Maryland slots bill advances

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The Maryland state Senate's Budget and Taxation Committee on Tuesday approved a plan to permit 15,500 slot machines at three racetracks and three tourist destinations in Maryland.

Senate leaders predicted last night that the bill will win passage from the full Senate.

Opponents vowed to continue to fight the bill and emphasize how the measure permits slot machines far beyond the racetracks.

Four tracks would be eligible to apply for the three racetrack licenses - Pimlico, Laurel, Rosecroft, and the Allegany site - and each could receive as many as 3,000 slot machines. Non-track sites could operate as many as 2,500 machines.