MGM selected for new casino at National Harbor - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

MGM selected for new casino at National Harbor

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Officials in Maryland have made a decision: the next casino to be built in the state will be located at National Harbor. MGM Resorts beat out applicants who wanted to build a casino at two alternate sites in Prince George’s County.

Once the legislature (and then Maryland voters) authorized the expansion of casino gambling into Prince George’s County, the scramble was on. A special commission had to decide among three applicants -- and three separate locations -- a site down Indian Head Highway, aging Rosecroft Raceway, or the already-successful National Harbor development.

Two of the seven commissioners thought the Indian Head Highway location would spur even more development than locating the casino at National Harbor. But MGM Resorts’ proposal to put a huge casino at National Harbor (essentially adjacent to the Capital Beltway) swayed the majority.

Donald C. Fry, the commission chairman, said at the meeting: “The reality is people like to go to the most accessible – easy way to get to – when it comes to gaming. What’s convenient for them, what’s most accessible?”

The vote was 5 to 2 in favor of the National Harbor location. The elated CEO of MGM Resorts, Jim Murren, described the changes he envisions: “Amenities, (whether it’s spas, retail, restaurants). It will be a great ‘stay-cation’ for the people who live in Prince George’s County. And it is a job machine, generating 2,000 construction jobs, 4,000 permanent jobs. We’ve made a commitment to try to hire as locally as possible. And we’re going to keep that commitment.”

The casino that’s coming to the grounds of National Harbor will add seven more restaurants, a 300 room hotel, 3,600 slot machines, and as many as 140 table games (such as blackjack, and poker).

Maryland will garner about $200 million a year in taxes from the enterprise.

The estimated opening date is July, 2016.

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