Prince George Executive pushing billion dollar National Harbor casino

County Executive Baker is pushing for the billion dollar National Harbor casino. (Photo: Jay Westcott)

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker is pushing lawmakers to approve his vision for a $1 billion casino at National Harbor.

The approval would create 5,000 jobs, raise $50 million in taxes, and fund a new hospital.

“We have the real opportunity to make National Harbor a travel destination,” Baker said.

Baker said Wednesday that a gaming bill would work only if it meant a world-class casino—and only at National Harbor.

“A site at National Harbor is our best option because it already has infrastructure, including parking, to handle more travelers," Baker said.

But opposing senators say the bill is being rushed through.

"It’s too big, it’s too big to say ‘approve this in a few days,’” said Democratic State Senator Anthony Muse.

For developers to even consider building the casinos, one study shows Maryland would need to change the tax structure—letting vendors take a bigger cut of the revenue.

“The formula would have to change and we are prepared for that,” Baker said.

Pressure is mounting if lawmakers want to send the bill to voters in the fall. Otherwise, gaming in Prince George’s County won't come up again until 2014.