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MGM Wins National Harbor Casino License

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PatWarrenWebPhoto Pat Warren
Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new casino is coming to National Harbor in Prince George’s County. The state gaming commission awarded the license to MGM Friday.

Pat Warren explains what happens next.

You may remember it was MGM that got the ball rolling back in 2012.

“The vote is 5 to 2 in favor of the MGM facility,” said Don Fry, Maryland Gaming Control Commission.

Getting to this point was a gamble in itself.

There was a special session to pass legislation, a ballot question to get voter approval, a bidding process that drew two other competitors, and finally Friday, a license was awarded to MGM to do what it set out to in 2012 — build a casino at National Harbor.

“My wife’s from here, my son goes to school here. I’ve got a lot of friends in Maryland. I love this area,” said Jim Murren, MGM chairman and CEO.

But the Gaming Control Commission was looking for more than roots, it wants revenue.

“It wasn’t a slam dunk from the beginning.We had to seriously consider all three locations,” Fry said.

Touristy National Harbor beat the Fort Washington and Rosecroft locations proposed by Parx Cainso and Penn National.

The work on Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino continues. It is scheduled to open next year, with the General Assembly giving it a two year headstart to find its feet before the MGM casino will open. MGM could start building next year.

“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,” said Murren.

The state is betting on it.

In November, Maryland’s four operating casinos pulled almost $68 million.

The state’s casinos brought in 47 percent more this November than November of last year.

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