Casino Info Center Opens at National Harbor

MGM Resorts International opened an office at National Harbor Thursday afternoon to provide information on job opportunities should voters decide in favor of a casino there on Election Day.

The information center will inform the public about the vision MGM Resorts International has for a world-class destination resort casino at National Harbor if Maryland voters approve Question 7 expanding gambling in the November referendum.

"Well certainly it would mean a thousand construction jobs right away and thousands more as the complex begins to open," said Alan Feldman of MGM Resorts International.

"At National Harbor we strive to have this become a very special place,” National Harbor developer Milt Peterson said. “Washington's waterfront, actually."

Penn National, also operates Hollywood Casinos in Charlestown, W.Va., and Perryville, Md., and owns Rosecroft Raceway a few miles from National Harbor, opposes Question 7 because as worded the new casino would be located at National Harbor. Penn National wants expanded casino gambling at Rosecroft to increase attendance, so do the players who bet on simulcast racing on TV daily.

"I think it would do great for the community,” Lem Moore said. “Tracks have gone downhill in the last couple of years. It’s a great place to be."

Horse owners, breeders and drivers say if Rosecroft doesn't get into the casino gambling business, their futures may be bleak.

"If it doesn’t come here I’ll have to move my operation, my farm, my breeding establishment," said Jackie Mac Leod.

Maryland Live! in Arundel Mills, which opened this summer, expanded Wednesday, making it the third-largest commercial casino in the country, is opposed to any new casino in Prince George's County, saying it made a huge investment relying on representations from Maryland lawmakers that it would be the closest casino to the Washington suburbs and it doesn't want its customer base cannibalized by a sixth casino in Maryland.

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