April 22, 2024
Annapolis, US 45 F

Slots At The Mall: Deceptive Telemarketing

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I just received a call from Slots At The Mall. The woman, with a heavy southern accent identified herself as “Virginia” and asked if I woudl support a “No Vote” on Question A. She went through a standard pitch about how a “No Vote” will create jobs, keep slots out of the mall and make jobs for “hundreds” of firefighters and police.

While I had a real live person on the phone, I figured I would ask some questions.

JF: I am not too familiar with the issue but was going to study up on it. So they are actually going to put slots in the mall with all the stores?

VIRGINIA: Yes, sir.

JF: Where are they going to put them. I did not think the mall had too much more room to expand?

VIRGINIA: I don;t really know, but I guess there’s some empty stores that they are going to fill.

JF: So, voting no just takes the slots out of the mall and will have them built at the racetrack in Laurel?

VIRGINIA: Yes, sir. A “No Vote” will put the slots at a more appropriate place like the Laurel Racetrack.

JF: Wow, I need to read up on this I had heard that a “No Vote” would kill slots entirely and I certainly did not realize that they were filling empty space it the mall with slot machines.

VIRGINIA: Yes sir, that it right. And you can find out more information by visiting the website www.noslotsatthemall.com.

JF: Well, thanks for your time, I will have to look into this.

VIRGINIA: Well thank you sir. Do you plan to vote by mail?

JF: I am probably going to vote absentee.

VIRGINIA: Well thank you. This call has been paid for by No Slots At The Mall.

If their mailer ads are not deceptive enough, I guess they are now moving to phone banks of deception.

More Deception

Take the mailer received today.

Deceptive depiction of Arundel Mills Slots

From this image, one would draw the conclusion that the slot parlor will encroach on the actual mall, and that it will be nearly as large as the mall.  Well according to Simon Properties, the mall has 1,293,000 square feet.  The proposal calls for a 250,000 square foot slots parlor. Less than 1/5 the size of the entire mall.  Here is a mor accurate schematic:

Accurate location of proposes slots at Arundel Mills Mall

Does that look so threatening? It seems to be about the size of the movie theatre or the Bass Pro Shop. As for the exposure to the children, it is a 21 and over venue so they will not be able to walk right in. And what responsible parent would allow a child to roam the parking lots of Arundel Mills unsupervised? Maybe it would Kristal Wardell, the woman featured in the mailer from last week who claimed she would be terrified to leave her children at the mall.

It seems to me that there is more of a threat to children buy actually serving alcohol INSIDE of the mall. They can walk into any restaurant as a minor and if they get a “not so with it” server, they can drink the night away. Not so much at the slots parlor OUTSIDE of the mall which is a 21 and older venue–period.

The type of deceitful marketing the No Slots At The Mall people are doing is wrong! Maybe it is illegal. But in any event, it is doing the voters a disservice by passing along blatant misinformation.

The Facts:

  1. The slots parlor/casino is not going IN the mall. It is going in a separate building on the same general property as the mall.
  2. Children will not be exposed to the slots parlor/casino beyond seeing the building, signage, and lighting.
  3. There has not been any other qualified location (per MD Constitutional amendment) identified that can accept the slots parlor/casino in Anne Arundel County other than the location at Arundel Mills and Laurel Park.
  4. A “No Vote” will disallow slots at BOTH of those locations effectively killing slots for the county.

It does not matter if you are for or against slots. Vote for what you feel is the best solution for your own situation and the general good of the County. But, please be an informed voter and do not buy the rhetoric put forth by the No Slots At The Mall people without checking the facts.

Here’s your chance, below is the exact wording you will see on the ballot in November. Cast your vote!

Video Lottery Facilities are not permitted anywhere in Anne Arundel County under current zoning law. Bill 82-09 is a zoning bill and was enacted for the purpose of allowing a Video Lottery Facility as a conditional use in a W-1 Industrial Park zoning district or at a Regional Commercial Complex. Vote “For Bill 82-09” if you want Bill 82-09 to take effect. Vote “Against Bill 82-09” if you do not want bill 82-09 to take effect.

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