Archive for the ‘Latest News’ Category

MGM National Harbor casino releases terms of community benefit agreement

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Via WJLA ABC 7 News

The proposed $925 million MGM casino resort at the National Harbor would include a hotel and restaurants, and is expected to bring in more than $40 million a year for Prince George’s County.

County Executive Rushern Baker has been working on a community benefit agreement for the last few months with MGM, and released those terms and goals on Tuesday.

For instance, for operations MGM plans to hire 40-percent of employees locally – including veterans. And during construction, MGM says it will try to give 30-percent of contracts to minority business enterprises, also laying out the standards MGM has to use in order to achieve them.

However, opponents argue that it’s still not tough enough of an agreement, and if a committee decides it is not doing enough to meet certain goals, MGM could be penalized.

For more information, click here.

Maryland casino revenue rises to $75.8 million in May

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Via Baltimore Business Journal

Maryland casino revenue climbed nearly 10 percent in May , with the bulk of gaming coming from Maryland Live Casino.

The state’s four casinos brought in $75.8 million during the month, up $6.6 million from $69.2 million in May 2012.

Maryland Live, the state’s largest casino, generated $59.5 million, up 8.1 percent from $4.5 million a year before. The casino operates 4,204 slot machines and 189 table games.

Hollywood Casino Perryville’s revenue dropped 8.7 percent, or $748,272, to $7.8 million in May. The casino operates 1,158 slot machines and 22 table games.

Casino at Ocean Downs brought in $4.7 million, down 1.2 percent from May 2013. The gaming venue houses 800 slot machines.

Rocky Gap Casino generated $3.8 million. The casino, with 577 slot machines and 16 table games, opened in late May 2013.

The state’s fifth casino, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, is scheduled to open in late August or early September.

MGM National Harbor gets nod from Prince George’s County Planning Board

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Via Baltimore Business Journal

The Prince George’s County Planning Board on Thursday unanimously approved the detailed site plan for MGM National Harbor, bringing the 1 million-square-foot casino-resort ever closer to its expected July groundbreaking.

The board’s support should not come as a surprise, given the planning staff’s effusive praise for the project in a recently-released report that deemed MGM National Harbor a “landmark.” Neither staff nor the board had any significant issues with the proposal.

The next stop for the plan is the District Council, but it likely won’t appear on that agenda until late June or perhaps early July.

“We’re very pleased, and it’s just one more step of getting approvals, getting building permits, getting this thing up and running in a couple years,” Arthur Horne of Shipley & Horne P.A., the local attorney representing MGM, said after the vote.

A number of area residents testified, most of them in opposition to the project as a whole, or the five large video boards planned for the exterior of the resort. They called the LED boards “unnecessary” and “obtrusive” and “garish.” They compared the plan to a casino in Atlantic City or Las Vegas. They said MGM intends to “light up the universe.”

Planning Commissioner John Shoaff suggested either cutting back on the number of boards, or directing MGM to dim them or shut them off late at night. Commissioner Dorothy Bailey, on the other hand, described the lighting as “engaging and exciting.”

“It’s like beauty: It’s in the eye of the beholder,” Bailey said. “I really do appreciate the lighting.”

Horne argued for no change, and that’s what he got.

“We would prefer to have all five,” he said of the LED boards. “Right now it’s part of the overall design of the building and it’s something they believe is important to the aesthetics and the operation of the building.”

Horseshoe casino in Baltimore ready for August debut

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Via The Washington Post

The 295 casino throwdown is about to get started.

Caesars Entertainment is putting the finishing touches on its Horseshoe casino in Baltimore, Horseshoe general manager Chad Barnhill said Wednesday. He also shared the latest renderings of the complex, which sits close to the intersection of Interstate 95 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

If you are just joining us, Horseshoe is the second casino to open along the MD-295 corridor, which is turning into the epicenter of Maryland’s aggressive expansion of commercialized gaming. Horseshoe will take on Hollywood Charles Town in West Virginia, as well as Maryland Live, which opened two years ago in Hanover, just off the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. MGM Resorts International is expected to join the fray in 2016, with a casino at National Harbor in Fort Washington, farther south on MD-295.

Horseshoe will feature about 100 table games and 2,500 slot machines. It has hired a small army to run the place. Barnhill said Wednesday that the casino will have hired 1,700 to 1,900 workers by the time it opens.

But long-term success is not assured in the saturated mid-Atlantic gaming market, experts say. Hollywood Charles Town is already feeling the effect of the increased competition. And it’s not going to get any better. As my colleague J. Freedom Du Lac reported in February: Roughly half of MGM National Harbor’s gambling revenue — at least $350 million in fiscal 2019 alone — is expected to come from Virginia, most of it from Northern Virginia, a critical market for Hollywood Charles Town.Stay tuned.

Qualification Hearings for Applicants of Prince George’s County Video Lottery Facility

Friday, October 4th, 2013

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission will hold a meeting on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 10 a.m. to conduct qualification hearings for the applicants for the Prince George’s County video lottery facility operation license and to review and consider a vendor merger agreement, at Montgomery Park Business Center, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 330, Baltimore MD 21230.  For additional information, please contact Marie Torosino at 410-230-8790.

For the complete agenda, click here.

Rocky Gap Casino GM outlines strategy

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Via Baltimore Business Journal

The general manager of the Rocky Gap Casino Resort told me Friday the casino’s core market will be folks living within a 90-minute drive of the casino’s Allegany County location. I spoke with Scott Just the day before Rocky Gap held an open house to show off its 558 slot machines and 10 table games.

The casino is expected to open as early as May 22, pending the successful test of its systems on May 20 by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.

The 90-minute radius Just is targeting include not only gamblers from Maryland but those as far away as Morgantown, W.Va., Altoona, Pa., and Winchester, W. Va. The closest casino to Rocky Gap currently is in Charles Town, W. Va., which is about 90 minutes from Rocky Gap.


Three companies compete for right to operate Prince George’s casino

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Via Washington Post

Three companies have put in bids to build a Prince George’s County casino, leading to a high-stakes competition to operate what could be one of the most lucrative gambling venues on the East Coast.

On Friday, the deadline for bids, Penn National Gaming proposed a $700 million Hollywood Casino Resort at Rosecroft Raceway, and the owner of a Pennsylvania casino proposed an $800 million Parx Casino Hotel & Spa nearby in Fort Washington.

The two bids will compete with a plan by MGM Resorts to operate Maryland’s sixth casino at National Harbor, the 300-acre mini-city on the Potomac River. The proposal to build that $800 million facility was submitted to the state Thursday.

A Maryland panel is expected to take several months to weigh the proposals and aims to choose one by the end of the year. The new casino could open by 2016.


Bids Being Accepted for Prince George’s County Casino

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

The race to win Prince George’s County casino contest is officially underway.

Maryland’s Video Lottery Facility Location Commission released a 110-page request for proposals (RFP) on Feb. 6 for construction and operation of a high-end Las Vegas-style casino.

Proposals are due to the commission by May 10, with a pre-proposal conference for potential bidders scheduled for Feb. 27.

The RFP was distributed to 200 individuals, organizations and businesses. However, a Maryland Lottery official said that list includes construction companies, lobbyists, anyone who expressed “any sort of interest” in the project.

An official with MGM Resorts International, which last year joined forces with National Harbor developer The Peterson Companies to develop a destination resort casino at National Harbor, said they have been doing their homework for months.


O’Malley names seven to new gaming commission

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012


The chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority, who also headed the group that advised Gov. Martin O’Malley on an expansion of gaming in the state, is among those O’Malley named Friday to a new commission to oversee casino gaming and the Maryland lottery.

John Morton III will be one of seven members of the new State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission. The group was created as part of legislation O’Malley signed earlier this year. The seven-member panel replaces the nine-member State Lottery Agency.

Joining Morton on the panel are:


Caesars-led group gets OK to run Baltimore casino

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012


Maryland’s casino program gathered momentum Tuesday as officials gave the go-ahead for a two-story casino near the Camden Yards stadium complex in Baltimore, even as the developers of a Western Maryland casino were allowed to scale back plans for Rocky Gap.

The state’s Video Lottery Facility Location Commission awarded the license for Baltimore’s casino to an affiliate of Caesars Entertainment, putting the city on track to open a gambling parlor in 2014. The company, CBAC Gaming, plans to operate 3,750 slots on a parcel off Russell Street downtown. It will operate under the name Harrah’s Baltimore.