The Prince George’s County Council on Monday approved the plans of MGM Resorts International to build a casino at National Harbor, the Washington Post reported.
That casino would be the state’s sixth and is the final one currently authorized. Of the other five, four are already in operation, with a fifth, in Baltimore City, scheduled to come online in August.
The County Council voted by an 8-1 margin to approve the $925 million project, which will include 3,600 slot machines, 140 gambling tables and a 21-story, 300-room hotel. MGM officials said that Monday’s approval keeps the company on track for a 2016 opening; an official groundbreaking could be as early as next month.
For horse racing interests, that approval, coupled with Baltimore’s impending opening, is good news. With the casino network fully built out, horse racing and breeding will receive six percent of slot machine revenue up to a cap of $100 million (split 80-20 between Thoroughbred and standardbred interests). That will mean more money for purses and breeder awards going forward.
“The world will come to Prince George’s County to see this facility,” one council member, Ingrid Turner (D-Bowie), said before the vote, which seemed like more than a little bit of hyperbole.
Still, it is expected to be perhaps the state’s most lucrative casino. It will be the state’s closest to Washington, DC and Northern Virginia.
One council member, Democrat Mary Lehman, opposed the casino on moral grounds.