Casino Proposed for National Harbor

Billion-dollar luxury resort casino proposed by Baker administration

Friday, Feb 17, 2012  |  Updated 7:23 AM EDT
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Catwalk Spills

Gaylord Entertainment/The Peterson Companies

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Vegas on the Potomac?

Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker is proposing a full-scale, high-end, Las Vegas-style casino at National Harbor. News4's Jackie Bensen has more on the controversial idea.
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Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker supports a billion-dollar, luxury casino on the Potomac River at National Harbor.

Hospitality company Gaylord Entertainment and developers the Peterson Companies, which built National Harbor, released a photo of the proposed location along the Capital Beltway.

According to Peterson and Gaylord, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker unveiled a plan for a resort casino with almost 5,000 slot machines and table games to attract visitors from all over the world.

"We fully and enthusiastically embrace his proposal and are committed to facilitating such a development," read a joint statement from Peterson and Gaylord. "We also recognize the broad economic benefits this type of development would bring to the region."

In a statement released Thursday evening, Baker said he believes if Prince George's County is to have gaming, it should be high-end.

"I believe we should develop a world-class destination facility that features gaming, live shows, dining and lodging," Baker said. "I envision a facility that attracts tourist, visitors, meetings and conventions from all over the world. A $1 billion entertainment complex would bolster travel and tourism for our county, help us grow our commercial tax base, create nearly 5,000 new jobs, provide revenue to help us fund education and public safety, and create an entertainment corridor with upscale amenities."

"To attain world-class quality, the resort will require a competitive tax structure that can support a minimum capital investment of one billion dollars," the joint statement from Gaylord and Peterson read.

Baker's office engaged a consultant to determine the best location for a casino in the county, the Associated Press reported. The consultant concluded that National Harbor was an overwhelmingly preferred location in the county.

Baker's administration projects the county could make $30 million from taxes on gambling proceeds and $20 million from other taxes.

Maryland lawmakers would have to pass legislation to allow the casino. Voters also would have to approve the idea in a referendum. It would be the sixth casino allowed in Maryland under the law.

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