The long road to the award of Maryland’s sixth casino license ended in late December when the Maryland Video Lottery Facilities Location Commission awarded the Prince George’s County license to the MGM Resorts International mega-resort on the Potomac River.
The commission voted 5-2 in favor of the MGM project, a $925 million casino, retail and entertainment complex at the National Harbor mixed-used development just downriver from Washington, D.C., with the Washington Monument and other iconic structures in view from the planned hotel.
The project will include a 300-suite hotel with a 100,000-square-foot-plus casino (the exact footage has not been publicly reported) featuring 3,600 slots, 140 table games and a poker room. It will include seven restaurants.
The main building will be understated and subtle, more akin to the government buildings in D.C. than a glitzy neon-clad casino property. It will include a rooftop pool, a spa, luxury-branded retail, a 1,200-seat theater, 35,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and a 5,000-space parking structure hidden by a seven-story plinth. MGM has pledged to create 4,000 direct jobs and 7,400 indirect jobs with the project.
MGM will be adjacent to the National Harbor entertainment complex, with visitation to be shared between the two attractions.
The decision ends a yearlong bidding war between MGM and two rivals, Penn National Gaming and Greenwood Racing. Penn National purchased the Rosecroft Raceway in nearby Fort Washington in 2011 with the express intention of adding a casino. Penn reopened the track, which had been shuttered due to the decline in the popularity of horse racing, and officials have said more than once that continued operation of the Rosecroft facility is not viable long-term without an attached casino.