LAUREL, MD. 11-05-08---The Maryland Jockey Club is pleased to report that on November 4, 2008 Maryland voters overwhelming approved the proposed state constitutional amendment authorizing the General Assembly to issue up to five video lottery licenses for the installation and operation of up to 15,000 video lottery terminals at five locations for the purpose of raising revenue for education. Support for the measure garnered 59% of the vote with 99% of the precincts reporting.

Laurel Park is a potential site for 4,750 machines to be located in Anne Arundel County. The Maryland Jockey Club will begin the process of applying for a license once the licensing process has been finalized.

“Today is a good day for all Marylanders including our historic industry,” said Tom Chuckas, Maryland Jockey Club president and chief operating officer. “We are extremely pleased that, after significant effort by a number of people inside and outside the horse racing industry, the voters have approved a measure that will be of great benefit to an industry which employs thousands of people in the state.”

The Maryland Jockey Club was founded in 1743 and is the longest standing organization in the state. Pimlico Race Course, home to the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of horse racing’s famed Triple Crown, opened its doors in 1870 and is the second oldest track in the country. Laurel Park first appeared on the racing scene in 1911.

“The passage of the referendum should help keep the Preakness and Maryland horse industry strong for years to come,” Chuckas said. “Our focus will now turn to working diligently with state officials on licensing matters.”

The state’s racing industry was the undisputed king of the mid-Atlantic until the last decade when slot machines in Delaware, West Virginia and Pennsylvania created an unbalanced playing field in terms of purses and breeding bonuses.

“We now expect to be able to compete more effectively with the surrounding states,” added Chuckas. “Not only will schools be stronger, but more money will be available for state programs and now Maryland’s money will stay right here.”