In Otto Mears’ own words: excerpts from an interview on his vision for gambling and horse racing in Chesapeake Beach as published in The Evening Star, October 31, 1900.
Mears: The Chesapeake Beach Railway Company has built a mile race track on its property at Chesapeake Beach, at a cost of about $100,000. It will be one of the finest tracks in the country. The concession to run races upon it has been granted to the Chesapeake Beach Improvement Company.
Reporter: Are not the individuals connected with both companies the same?
Mears: No. No one connected with the railway company is in any way interested in the improvement company, save as lessors of the track. The improvement company is composed entirely of Philadelphia men…while our company is composed entirely of Coloradans.
Reporter: What basis is there for the published statements that a Monte Carlo is going to be established at Chesapeake Beach? Is that a part of the improvement company’s concession also?
Mears: We are building the finest club house in the country at the Beach. …The improvement company has nothing to do with that. The club house, like everything else at the Beach except the track, is in our control.
Reporter: Will gambling be permitted at the club house?
Mears: Public gambling? No, but as all gentlemen’s clubs permit members to indulge in cards for money if they feel like it, the same privileges, I have no doubt, will be extended to members of our club.
Reporter: Does not the law of Maryland forbid gambling?
Mears: The law of Maryland…does, I believe; but our company has a city charter. …The city has a mayor and a board of aldermen or commissioners, and under the charter they are empowered to grant licenses. Nothing offensive will be permitted, however.
Reporter: But how about the club?
Mears: The club will be organized as other Maryland clubs are, under the laws of the state, and will, of course be licensed also.
Reporter: Will there be boxing or prize fighting?
Mears: Oh, no, none of that. Public opinion wouldn’t tolerate that even if laws would. Public opinion is stronger than law.