Fenty Eyes Law to Ban Slots

Article excerpt

Byline: Matthew Cella, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

D.C. Council member Adrian M. Fenty is crafting legislation that would ban video-lottery terminals to prevent a repeat of an effort by offshore investors to construct a gambling hall in Northeast.

Mr. Fenty, Ward 4 Democrat, said he plans to introduce the legislation next month, when the council returns from summer recess. "We've got to figure out what to do next," he said. "We know at some point that slots are going to come back, but at the same time, we know the people of the District of Columbia don't support slots."

The proposal comes after the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics on Thursday rejected a petition drive for a referendum on the gambling plan because petitioners did not collect enough verifiable signatures.

Referendum supporters have announced plans to appeal the board's decision after a written ruling is released. The ruling could be issued as early as today.

On July 13, eight of the council's 13 members signed on to a sense of the council resolution declaring that city residents "would be worse off with thousands of video lottery terminals than it is without them."

Mr. Fenty yesterday said he believes the support for the nonbinding resolution would translate into votes against gambling.

Dorothy Brizill, who filed one of two challenges that led to the board's disqualifying thousands of signatures and rejecting the slots plan, said Mr. …