MGM Resorts International To Build Casino At National Harbor Near Washington D.C.
State Residents Must Approve Measure In A Referendum
On Friday, MGM Resorts International agreed to build a destination casino resort at the National Harbor waterfront complex in Prince George’s County, Maryland, about six miles from Washington, D.C.
The proposed property will include a hotel, shopping and entertainment complex and a casino with 4,000 slot machines.
The deal hinges on state lawmakers clearing the way for casino table games while also decreasing Maryland’s high tax on gambling revenue, which currently stands at 67 percent.
Jim Murren, CEO and chairman of MGM, was adamant that in order for his company to invest $600 million into the project, the state’s tax rate would need to be cut to 52 percent.
In April, the Maryland General Assembly ran out of time, failing to approve table games expansion, but Gov. Martin O’Malley is considering calling a special session to revisit the issue.
The state is expected to pass legislation, but residents would also have to approve the measure in a referendum. Murren believes voters will be enticed by the fact that an estimated 75 percent of the casino’s business will come from outside the state.
There are currently three casinos in Maryland in Perryville, Hanover and Berlin. Another two have been approved for Baltimore and the Rocky Gap State Park.
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