From The Maryland Public Policy Institute
In what comes as a surprise to many people, Maryland’s Board of Public Works voted on Wednesday to purchase 1,062 slot machines for Penn National Gaming’s casino in Cecil County, at a cost of over $49 million.
795 of the machines were bought outright, and 267 will be leased for 4 years and 10 months. The contract also includes installation and support, but at an average cost of $46,542 per machine, many observers are expressing shock. According to the Baltimore Sun, Comptroller Peter Franchot, who voted against the contract, called the purchase a “windfall” for the slots manufacturers. An independent industry analyst was described as being “dumbfounded” at the cost, suggesting it should have been closer to $10,000 per machine. [http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2010-06-09/news/bs-md-cecil-slots-contract-20100609_1_slot-hollywood-casino-perryville-comptroller-peter-franchot]
State Lottery spokeswoman Carol Everett tried to explain the high average cost by suggesting that the figure was skewed by a number of complicated and expensive units, and said that the average cost of machines is around $20,000.