02/25/2005 1:00AM

Slots pass Maryland House

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A bill to legalize slot machines in Maryland passed by a vote of 71-66 in the House of Delegates on Friday afternoon.

The bill would authorize 9,500 slot machines at four locations, one of them expected to be Laurel Park, the racetrack owned by Magna Entertainment Corp.

The legislation is significantly different from a Senate bill that passed earlier this year. Such large differences exist between the House bill and the Senate bill - which more closely resembles the proposal by Gov. Robert Ehrlich, - that a select committee of negotiators would be needed to reconcile them, according to Del. George C. Edwards, the House Republican leader from western Maryland.