Washington County has its own regulation prohibiting tip-jar machines that dispense randomly generated numbers.
However, a state law for Washington County on top of that regulation would better protect the county against a possible lawsuit if anyone challenged the ban, Hovis said.
The bill, as drafted, set standards for how tip jars could be designed and could dispense tickets. It would have banned machines with random-number generators and shufflers or if they were remotely operated.
Last week, when the discussion first came before the delegation, Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, said a state attorney general's office opinion considered the county's existing regulation to be a clear ban.
Opponents of the bill also said it could hurt the county's chances to revamp its gaming operations if slot machines become legal and cut into tip-jar revenues.
Bruce Bereano, a lobbyist for an Arbutus, Md., gaming supplier that does business in Washington County, also urged that the bill be rejected.
Local and state officials are protective of the county's tip-jar system, which distributes millions of dollars to fire and rescue companies and nonprofit organizations.
Still, the delegation rejected a proposal, supported by the Washington County Commissioners, for more protection.
"All of these safeguards are in place and we feel we need another one?" asked Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Washington/Allegany
Afterward, Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire, one of several county officials who met with the delegation Wednesday, said he was puzzled by the delegation's stance. He said it appeared lawmakers were giving in to a gaming lobbyist's wishes.
However, Bereano later reiterated what he told the delegation last week: His client doesn't plan to push for slot-style machines in Washington County.
How they voted
The Washington County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly on Wednesday voted 5-2 against filing a bill proposing an extra level of regulation to keep slot-style tip-jar machines out of the county.
· Yes - Sen. Donald F. Munson and Del. Robert A. McKee
· No - Sen George C. Edwards, Sen. Alex X. Mooney, Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., Del. Christopher B. Shank and Del. Richard B. Weldon Jr.
· Del. John P. Donoghue did not attend the delegation meeting