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National Harbor Casino Would Bring More Gaming Revenue Than Competing Bids, Analysts Say

ANNAPOLIS – MGM would likely bring in more gaming revenue than the other two companies competing to build Maryland’s sixth casino in Prince George’s County, economic consultants told state gaming regulators Friday.

MGM’s proposed casino at National Harbor would bring in between $713 million and $719 million in fiscal year 2019, according to consulting companies that analyzed MGM’s proposal for the state.

Greenwood Racing’s proposed Parx Casino Hotel and Spa would bring in between $617 million and $682 million, and Penn National Gaming’s proposed Hollywood Casino at Rosecroft Raceway would bring in between $551 million and $560 million, the consultants said.

The consulting companies, who were retained by state gaming regulators, presented their findings Friday at a meeting of the Video Lottery Facility Location Commission. At a meeting in Baltimore on Dec. 20, the commission is expected to grant the right to build the Prince George’s County casino to one of the companies.

At public hearings in October, the companies presented gaming revenue estimates based on their own analysis of the market.

MGM’s in-house revenue projections of $688 million per year in the third full year of operations were not far off from the estimates produced by the economic consultants who presented their findings Friday.

Greenwood Racing had projected $809 million per year in the third full year of operations, which was 24 percent higher than the average of the state consultants’ projections. Penn National Gaming had projected gaming revenues of $413 million per year in the third full year of operations, which was 26 percent lower than the average of the state consultants’ projections.

Will Cummings, an economic analyst with Cummings Associates, told the commission that the location of MGM’s proposed casino at National Harbor factored into the higher revenue estimates for the company. Much of the casino’s business will come from Virginia, he said. National Harbor is a shorter drive from Virginia than the other two sites.

“The closer they are to the target audience the more often they tend to visit,” he said.

But Anthony Ricci, chief executive officer and treasurer of Greenwood Racing Inc., said he did not believe what he called a “three to four minute” difference in driving time between the proposed casino locations was significant enough to affect the revenue projections.

“I think the results are fatally flawed and should not be relied upon in the decision,” he said.

A MGM executive agreed with the state consultants’ findings, arguing that the difference in driving time in traffic was significant.

“We do believe that time is money,” said Bill Hornbuckle, president and chief marketing officer of MGM International.

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