MGM Resorts Announces Plan for Nat'l Harbor Casino
The company behind a number of Las Vegas casinos wants to expand to Prince George's County.
Though gambling has a long way to go before being legalized in Prince George's County, MGM Resorts International and the Peterson Companies announced a partnership today to develop National Harbor into a "world-class destination resort casino."
Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker, who has been pushing to expand gambling into Prince George's County, stressed economic benefits which a casino could bring to the area.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the residents of Prince George’s County and Maryland,” said Baker in a press release announcing the partnership. “We remain hopeful that the people will have a chance to vote on bringing a high-quality resort casino that will create thousands of construction and full-time jobs and generate millions in additional revenue for Prince George’s County and the state."
MGM resorts operates a number of casinos around the world, including the Bellagie, the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage, all in Las Vegas, and is developing new resort casinos in Asia and the Middle East.
“The opportunity to build a destination casino resort in the National Harbor complex was extremely compelling,” stated James J. Murren, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, MGM Resorts International. “We believe this ideal location will not only attract residents from Virginia and DC, but will also serve as a new amenity for the more than 40 million domestic and international visitors who travel to the nation’s capital each year.”
To expand gambling into Prince George's County requires the approval of county and state lawmakers before the matter is turned over to voters for a referendum. Despite the announcement of this partnership, at least one state lawmaker, Sen. Paul Pinsky (D-Prince George's), has said that the chances for a Prince George's gambling bill getting approval were still up in the air.
"I generally have not been a big fan of gambling," said Pinsky. "I'm just afraid that a lot of people lose their rent checks and their mortgage checks. I'm also concerned that it could lead to an increase in crime."