Proponents of expanded gambling have for the first time moved ahead of opponents — at least when measured by the size of their campaign accounts.
MGM Resorts International Inc., which wants to build a resort casino at National Harbor in Prince George’s County, pumped another $3 million into a ballot issue committee supporting Maryland’s expanded gambling voter referendum, Question 7.
MGM has spent $17.4 million to support the construction of a Prince George’s County casino and the legalization of table games at every Maryland gambling site.
CBAC Gaming LLC, the Baltimore casino licensee led by Caesars Entertainment Corp., National Harbor developer The Peterson Cos. and apartment developer Bozzuto & Associates Inc. have combined to pump $22.1 million into For Maryland Jobs and Schools Inc., which has spent $17.8 million of that money on pro-referendum advertising.
Bozzuto joined the fray Thursday with a $10,000 contribution.
Penn National Gaming Inc., the only company opposing an expansion of Maryland’s casino gambling program, has given $21.6 million to its ballot issue committee, Get the Facts – Vote No on 7. The committee has spent just over $18 million of that money.
Each side is protecting its business interests. MGM wants to develop prime real estate at National Harbor and Caesars wants to be able to offer table games such as blackjack and poker at a future Harrah’s Baltimore casino on Russell Street.
Penn National, believes it won’t be given a fair chance to build a casino at Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George’s County and fears a facility at National Harbor would financially damage Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia.