DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - A plan for two new casinos - one in Sussex County and one in New Castle County - is still being discussed in Delaware. But it's not entirely the first state, that potential developers are aiming at.
Earlier this week a House committee in Delaware put a plan for two more casinos in the first state temporarily on hold. It could come back up again before this year's legislative session is through.
One group of developers has its eye on a spot that would have a huge impact on a part of Delmarva that isn't Delaware.
A lobbyist who testified a Wednesday's hearing on that plan says the developers he works for wants to put the Sussex County casino in Delmar - meaning it would be only a few miles from Salisbury.
"Wicomico County is across the border," Darrell Baker, with State Line Casino, LLC, said Wednesday. "It's only a couple of miles away. The Delmar facility has virtually no infrastructure upgrades required. Route 50 is a stones throw away from the border."
Baker says choosing a site for a new casino is about population centers.
"Wicomico County is broaching 100,000 people by itself."
And the goal would be to bring them over the state line, though, people WBOC talked with in Salisbury weren't overly excited about a casino so close.
"I really don't care," Ken Jester said. "I don't gamble. I never really have."
"I suppose I would if I am in the financial condition to do it," said Ryan Thomas, from Cambridge. "I think gambling has a lot to do with personal responsibility."
Other developers looking to build in Sussex County have their eyes on sites closer to the ocean, potentially near Millsboro. The state's current casino owners say Delaware is saturated enough already and economically can't support more gambling.
But Baker says if Delaware doesn't act, Maryland will.
"If you don't do something," he said at Wednesday's hearing. "They'll do something - as you've seen them do things against you again and again."
Baker says the Delmar location would also bring more shopping, tax-free shopping, that would draw people from Maryland, too.
Lawmakers could look at this again in a few weeks. Previous plans to add more casinos have never gotten out of committee. It's unclear if this one will. If it does, members of the Kent County delegation have pledged to push back against it vigorously.
Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:49 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:49:09 GMT
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