MGM emerges as frontrunner for Prince George's casino

Photo: Free Richard via Flickr

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJLA) - A frontrunner may have emerged in the multi-million dollar battle to build a casino in Prince George’s County. Three operators are pushing their unique plans to build in the area around Fort Washington, but in the end only one will be chosen.

The bidders have all made promises;{ }the{ }Parx Casino says it will give $100 million to improve Indian Head Highway and have a bigger gaming floor. The owners of Rosecroft Raceway say they’ll be a good neighbor and donate all their profits to the county.

“We believe our proposal brings the greatest economic impact to the state,” says Karen Bailey, spokesperson for Penn National Gaming.

The spokesman for MGM, which wants to build at National Harbor, promises the biggest, best, and most lucrative casino for Maryland and Prince George’s County.

“MGM National Harbor is the best company with the best site with the best proposal,” says Gordon Absher.

But it's up to the seven-member facility location to decide who gets a casino.{ }
On Friday, they heard essentially from the fact-checkers, consultants hired to run the numbers.{ }

Consultants say MGM has an edge because the company will employ more people, handle traffic better, and would generate more money.{ }

Total revenue projections show Rosecroft at $551 million, Parx at $617 million, and MGM at $719 milion a year after opening in 2016.

“We’re very excited as we get closer to the conclusion of this process,” Absher says.

Despite MGM’s confidence, the others aren’t about to give up. The head of Parx says the consulants got the revenue projections wrong.

“I was happy to hear the consultants say it’s an art, not a science, because it’s not a science. I think it’s totally illogical,” says Anthony Ricci, the CEO of Greenwood Racing.