With the flair you'd expect from a Vegas casino company, MGM officials made a show of loading glitzy boxes they said contained their casino proposal into black SUV's for submission to the state gaming commission.
The company's local boss says it's a good plan.
“We feel we've got the best proposal we feel we've got the best casino product in the country,” says Lorenzo Creighton, president of MGM National Harbor
He wouldn't say more because the exact details are considered a secret at this point. The company handed out videos of its existing properties. The promise here has always been an $800 million destination casino resort complex with gambling, of course, but also restaurants and performance venues and 8,400 permanent jobs.
National Harbor's developer says the plans won't disappoint.
“MGM combined with this site is pretty hard to beat,” says John Peterson of The Peterson Company.
MGM may face competition from rival Penn National, which bought the nearby Rosecroft Raceway specifically in hopes of building a casino there. That company is not commenting. It has until 2 p.m. Friday to submit its proposal.
Penn National's odds of success are considered slim after spending millions to defeat Maryland's gambling expansion.
MGM's president responded this way when asked about Rosecroft: “Who?”
Watching it all play out are the people of Prince George's County. By vote, the majority support the casino. But in the neighborhoods around National Harbor, there remains ambivalence.
“I think it gonna be bad for people who can’t afford to gamble,” says Shirley Covington, who lives near the National Harbor. “They're probably gonna get addicted. And I’m totally against it.”