Parx Casino negotiates Ft. Washington proposal with extra benefits

FORT WASHINGTON, Md. (WJLA) – Though the Parx Casino proposal for Ft. Washington came late in the process and has seen less publicity than the two other competitors, it is no less grand.

Sketches show a 14-story, 250-room hotel with a 200,00 square-foot casino -- all sprawled out on a 26-acre parcel at the corner of Indian Head Highway and Old Fort Road.

"It will be an elegant, national destination resort," described Anthony Ricci, Parx Casino's CEO who told the state committee – which will ultimately decide the location of the planned PG.. County casino -- that his plan is better than MGM’s at National Harbor and Penn National’s at Rosecroft Raceway because it will mean a rebirth for the surrounding community.

"5,000 jobs and $626 million of economic output just during construction," Ricci explained. "There will be 5,700 jobs and $1 billion a year in economic development as a result of this."

To sweeten the deal, Parx is offering up to $100 million to improve Route 210 and promising to pay 5-percent more in state taxes than the law requires. And while these details are recent developments, the plan already has its opponents.

During the briefing construction, trades union members staged a protest on behalf of MGM, and we couldn’t find a single resident of the area who think a casino in the area is a good idea.

"I didn't move in this area to have gambling casinos," said area resident, Deborah Hayes.

"I can't think of a worse example of sprawl," added Dave Turner.