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Penn National mulling bid for Prince George’s casino license

Penn National mulling bid for Prince George’s casino license

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The Wyomissing, Pa.-based gambling company that spent $44 million in its campaign to defeat Question 7, may bid on the license for a casino authorized by voters’ approval of Question 7.

“It is under consideration,” said Karen Bailey, a spokeswoman for Penn National Gaming Inc. The Washington Post first reported the possibility Friday.

Despite its record spending to defeat the expanded gambling law passed by the General Assembly, signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley and sent to referendum, most have expected Penn to enter the bidding for the casino license awarded to Prince George’s County.

The legislation that authorized the voter referendum on table games, a sixth casino and 24/7 operation of those facilities, was written so a casino could be built either at Penn-owned Rosecroft Raceway or National Harbor. Penn says adding slots and table games to the dilapidated racetrack is vital to its success.

But Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and other powerful elected officials favor National Harbor as the casino’s location. That favoritism led Penn to believe it wouldn’t have a fair shot when it came time to bid on the casino license.

MGM Resorts International Inc. is the prohibitive favorite to build an $800 million casino at National Harbor, the Peterson Cos.’ luxury mixed-used development on the shores of the Potomac River.

The Video Lottery Facility Location Commission will evaluate bids and select a licensee next year.

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