By Alex DeMetrick

OXON HILL, Md. (WJZ)– Opening a new business is always a gamble, but for MGM National Harbor, it’s paid off very well.

Back on December 8, 2016, people who had waited in line in freezing weather, got their first look at MGM.

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“Lots of lights. Lots of glamour, lots of fun,” one woman said.

The Glasgows were married that day and came to celebrate. They returned Friday for their first Anniversary.

“It was so crowded last time, we really didn’t get to enjoy all of it,” Johnny Glasgow said. “You know it was nice when we came in and walked around a little bit. So we figure it won’t be as crowded this time.”

The hotel had 6 million guests and the casino alone made over $170 million, becoming the state’s biggest tax payer.

“A tremendous population density that’s from Maryland, Virginia and obviously D.C.,” said Anton Nikodemus, CEO of Regional MGM Resorts.

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And it’s brought jobs to Prince George’s County. Justin Rhim is one of 3,700 employees.

“Working has enabled me to buy a house here and actually put my footprint in the community, so it’s been a blessing,” Rhim said.

“We made a commitment to the community that we would open with 40 percent of our employees being from Prince George’s County,” said VP of Human Resources Logan Gaskill. “We’re actually at 47 percent.”

When it comes to money made from gambling, MGM National Harbor has become dominant among Maryland’s six casinos. In November alone, it made $50.6 million.

Next nearest at $43.4 million, was Maryland Live in Anne Arundel County, followed at $22.7 million at Horshoe Casino in Baltimore.

$130.5 million was the total take from all six casinos. Ten percent of which must go the counties and city where gambling is allowed.

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