This story was corrected at 3:27 p.m. Oct. 30, 2013. An explanation is at the end of the story.
Three companies vying to build Prince George’s County’s first casino have made their presentations and now await selection of the winner, which is expected by the end of the year by the Maryland Video Lottery Facility Location Commission.
The presentations wrapped up with MGM Resorts International holding the final meeting Friday at Friendly High School in Fort Washington. Rosecroft Raceway owner Penn National Gaming held its meeting Oct. 21 and Pennsylvania Parx Casino operator Greenwood Racing presented Oct. 23. Each meeting featured a visit to the company’s proposed site, a public unveiling of casino plans and an opportunity for the public to provide testimony regarding the placement of the casinos.
Donald C. Fry, commission chairman, said the meetings were an opportunity for the commission to get specific information from the casinos in a public setting and to gather feedback from the public right after the presentations. The commission’s role is to be an unbiased, transparent entity that will make the best decision for the county based on the casino license’s statutes, Fry said. Even though the presentations are over, the commission will be able to contact casino staff if they have followup questions.
“We will have an opportunity to review what they provided,” Fry said. “We will have ample time for questions.”
Each casino presented what it said would be the best decision for the county with varying numbers of investment dollars, jobs created and potential revenues.
Penn National Gaming wants to revamp the Fort Washington located Rosecroft Raceway into a new $700 million facility, the Hollywood Casino Resort, that will have 3,000 slot machines; 100 live gaming tables; a 13-story hotel; and an event center that seats 2,500 people, and will continue the raceway’s current harness racing, according to the company’s presentation. The new facility would create about 1,600 jobs, according to the presentation.
“We think this market is very strong and very deep,” said Tim Wilmott, Penn National Gaming president and chief operating officer.
Greenwood unveiled plans for a $761 million casino, which would feature 4,750 slot machines; 170 table games, including 50 for poker; a 250-room hotel; and a 3,000-seat theater. The company claimed the casino would create about 5,700 permanent jobs. The Parx Casino, Hotel and Spa would be built at the intersection of Indian Head Highway and Old Fort Road in Fort Washington.
“We will deliver on our promises, we will conduct ourselves in a manner that will make you proud,” said Tony Ricci, CEO of Greenwood Racing, during the presentation.
MGM Resorts International proposed a $925 million casino at National Harbor that would feature 3,600 slots, 140 live gaming tables including poker, a 300-room hotel, restaurants, retail and meeting space. Presenters said this location would create 4,000 mostly full-time jobs.
“We demand excellence in everything we do,” said Jim Murren, MGM chairman and chief executive officer. “We are about making good on our promises. We do what we say we do; we don’t overpromise and under deliver.”
Both MGM Resorts International and Greenwood Racing have requested more slots than the approved referendum allows, which sets a limit at 3,000 slots. However, a letter from the commission’s attorney counsel states wording in the statute allows the commission to award more than 3,000 slots — up to 4,750 — if market factors and the public interest warrant that decision.
The casino will be the sixth in Maryland. Anyone wanting to submit a written testimony to the commission can still do so through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction: The initial story incorrectly stated the number of slots proposed for Parx Casino, Hotel and Spa and incorrectly attributed the rules regarding the number of slots machines allowed.