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Turner teams up with MGM to pursue city slots license

Patrick Turner

Developer Patrick Turner is working with mega resort and casino company MGM to win the Baltimore gaming license and build a slots parlor south of M&T Bank Stadium.

Turner and another partner, Jim Seay, confirmed their interest in a written statement late Wednesday night after the pair watched the Video Lottery Facility Location Commission push back due dates for the Baltimore casino proposals Wednesday afternoon.

“Our local development team, which includes MGM, was certainly working diligently towards the anticipated submittal date,” the statement read. “Our team has invested significantly in the process in both time and expense. We respect the decision to extend the bid date and are hopeful that during the extension an effort is made to make the overall business model more attractive to the investment community.”

The proposed casino site at Russell and Warner streets is just a mile from Turner’s $1.2 billion, mixed-use Westport development.

Seay is president of Premier Rides, a roller coaster and amusement park ride design company in Baltimore. He was a member of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s delegation on the state’s recent trade mission to Asia.

MGM Resorts International owns 15 gaming properties across the country, including the flagship MGM Grand in Las Vegas and other resorts including the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage.

Turner’s group is at least the second potential bidder with local ties. The other is led by lawyer William H. “Hassan” Murphy III. Other interested developers include a Native American tribe from Oklahoma, two holding companies with gaming interests, and Baltimore City Entertainment Group.

BCEG, led by Canadian homebuilder Michael Moldenhauer, was the only bidder for the license in 2009 but its bid was rejected by the slots commission.

BCEG has filed a federal reverse discrimination suit seeking to force the commission to amend its minority- and women-owned business carve-outs for developers seeking the city slots license in the second round. The commission and its lawyers will review that suit before the Sept. 23 due date for proposals.