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MGM Representatives Making Rounds In Maryland

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Representatives of Las Vegas casino and hotel operator MGM are meeting with Maryland officials about plans for a potential casino near the nation’s capital.

MGM executives are scheduled to meet with Gov. Martin O’Malley on Friday morning in Annapolis, said his spokeswoman Raquel Guillory. They will be discussing plans for a casino at National Harbor in Prince George’s County.

One MGM executive, Michael Evans, and a developer for National Harbor, Milton Peterson, met on Wednesday in Annapolis with House Speaker Michael Busch. The speaker described the meeting as “a meet and greet,” in which the two said they were poised to have an agreement relating to putting a casino at the waterfront development near Washington.

Busch, speaking in a telephone interview, emphasized that many details remain for lawmakers to consider before potentially paving the way for Maryland voters to decide whether they want to expand gambling in the state.

“I don’t think anyone should read too much into this,” Busch said, referring to the meeting.

Jon Peterson, senior vice president of the Peterson Cos. at National Harbor, would not elaborate on a possible agreement.

“We don’t yet have a deal or letter of intent, so there’s nothing more we can say,” Peterson said in a statement.

A work group convened by O’Malley is studying the potential of Maryland allowing table games like blackjack and roulette. The work group, comprised of lawmakers and O’Malley aides, also are weighing the possibility of allowing a casino in Prince George’s County.

O’Malley has expressed willingness to call a special session next month to take up gambling expansion, if lawmakers can reach a consensus on how to do it.

Currently, Maryland law allows slot machine casinos in five locations. Three casinos have opened, including one in Perryville, Berlin and Hanover. Two others, one in Baltimore and one in western Maryland’s Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort, have yet to be built.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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