MGM Selected to Construct New Casino in Maryland
Heading into the most spirited time of the year, MGM Resorts certainly has something to celebrate.
Legislators cleared the way for casino expansion in 2012
MGM Resorts’ licensing approval in Maryland was made possible when legislators there passed a law that permits new casino development in Prince George’s County during a special session held last year.
According to the paper, MGM lobbied hard to win the rights to build the new resort, spending some $40 million toward the effort. By contrast, gaming company Penn National spent just a wee bit more – $42 million – in an effort to defeat the measure.
For its part, MGM Resorts was delighted at its victory.
“I want to build the most beautiful, iconic and successful resort. I think outside of Las Vegas, this will be the most profitable commercial resort in the United States, and I want to bring that here,” remarked MGM’s Chief Executive Officer, Jim Murren.
Casino opening still years away
When the new MGM casino opens at National Harbor on the banks of the storied Potomac River, it is expected to create 2,000 permanent jobs in the area.
The property, which will cost $925 million to construct, will also provide another 4,000 temporary positions. The casino will feature table games, slot machines, and the usual lineup of amenities such as restaurants, nightlife, and the like.
It was those amenities that ultimately won over the Maryland Gaming Commission, whose chairman, Don Fry, remarked that in the end the board felt that the development plan put forward by MGM Resorts simply offered more impressive features than those of its competitors.
Also in the running were Penn National and a subsidiary of Greenwood Racing called Maryland Casino LLC.
Expansion in Maryland mirrors what is happening in many regions
The effort to expand land-based casino gambling in the state of Maryland is a story that is playing out all across the nation, as cash-strapped states look for new ways to earn revenue.
In recent years, we have seen a race – nearly a frenzy, in some places – to construct newer, bigger, and better casino properties. States like Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Maryland are working to license new properties, while other states move to attract gamblers and would-be gamblers with land-based gambling’s newer, shinier cousin: online betting.
Already three states have legalized some form of online wagering, with Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey all having enacted Internet gambling legislation. In Nevada, only online poker is allowed, however in Delaware and New Jersey – the two most recent states to launch online wagering markets – a more comprehensive suite of betting options are on offer.
Industry pundits expect that more states will come online in the next few years, with California, Pennsylvania, and Illinois all likely candidates to regulate real money online poker and other Internet-based casino games in the coming years, though many experts feel that it might not be until 2015 that we see the commencement of a new marketplace.