National Harbor and MGM Casinos have today announced plans to bring a 4,000 slot, 250 table games luxury casino to Prince George’s County in the shadow of the Wilson Bridge. This is by no means a done deal, thanks to the gaming laws of the State of Maryland. While the plan represents a $1B investment in the National Harbor area, it hinges on an act of the Maryland legislatures, which must approve all casino developments.
Maryland currently has five casinos, the newest is Maryland Live! which was packing in the visitors during its opening weekend recently. The Post’s Michael Rosenwald recently visited the newly opened venue amid the outlets and declared it “the strangest location in America for a large gambling venue,” between the TJ Maxx and the Burlington Coat Factory. National Harbor, which already sports a number of destination restaurants and convention opportunities, might be a better fit for the glitz and glamor of the James Bond casino image, with its Baccarat tables and snappy croupiers.
The table games would likely be a bigger draw for the DC area than the video slots. DC’s poker options were, for a long time, limited to jaunts up the coast to Atlantic City’s shabby and sad poker parlors. Within the last few years, West Virginia’s expanded table games options made a card game a closer possibility, but anyone who’s sat in that traffic knows better than to want to head out there for the weekend. Having a good close option for a card game might be a solid boost for the National Harbor development, but there are many opponents to gambling in the Maryland legislature, so look for this one to be a hard sell for a Fall emergency session of the Maryland body.