A state panel has decided, and to the surprise of practically no one, it has chosen National Harbor as the site of the proposed Prince George’s County casino.
The National Harbor site, proposed by MGM and favored by county executive Rushern Baker and other political leaders, beat out proposals by Greenwood Racing, which owns Parx Racing and Casino near Philadelphia, and Penn National Gaming, which would have placed the casino at the Rosecroft harness track.
MGM’s proposal includes building a $925 million casino with 3600 slot machines, 140 table games, and a 300-room hotel.
The Maryland Video Lottery Facility Location Commission voted by a 5-2 margin to give the nod to MGM after a relatively brief Friday morning discussion. A group of consultants retained by the Commission had strongly favored the MGM proposal.
That spot, the consultants said, is more centrally located to more people, is more likely to draw tourists as a destination, and thus likely to generate more revenue for the state — although both competing proposal offered higher tax rates.
Whether this is the end of the story is unclear, however. Either of the jilted suitors could file suit or pursue other political solutions.
Greenwood Racing, in particular, had been vocal about what it considered to be a flawed process. However, Greenwood’s Tony Ricci said the company has “no plans to contend decision,” according to Kevin Rector of the Baltimore Sun.
The choice of MGM could be the death knell for Rosecroft, the struggling harness track in Fort Washington. The track was shuttered prior to Penn National’s involvement, and that company has made clear that it views alternative gaming a necessity for the track’s future.[boxify cols_use =”4″ cols =”4″ position =”none” order =”none” box_spacing =”5″ padding =”3″ border_width =”1″ border_color =”blue” border_style =”solid” height =”60″ ]