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MGM awarded casino license

The Maryland Video Lottery Facility Commission Friday awarded the state’s sixth and final casino license to MGM Resorts International by a 5-2 vote.

MGM has proposed building a $925 million gaming facility at National Harbor in Prince George’s County. The plan includes a 300-room hotel, 3,600 slot machines and 140 table games.

The awarding of the license comes a year after Maryland voters approved expanding gaming to include one additional casino to be located in Prince George’s County and table games.

The facility cannot open earlier than July 2016 or 30 months after Horseshoe Baltimore Casino opens.

Two other companies were also vying for the license at separate locations.

Maryland Casino LLC, a subsidiary of Pennsylvania-based Greenwood Racing, proposed building an $800 million Parx Hotel & Spa on 22-acres with 4,750 slot machines, 170 table games. A 250-room hotel was planned for a second phase of the project.

Penn National proposed a $700 million casino facility at its Rosecroft Raceway with 3,000 slot machines at its casino resort. The company also vowed to give the profits of the facility, after debt and other payments, to a local hospital and other nonprofit groups.

Donald C. Fry, chairman of the commission, said that the panel could not take that promise into account as part of its evaluation and expressed concerns about how hard management would work to maximize tax revenue for the state if they were willing to give away company profits.

Many of the seven-member panel said they believed the MGM proposal was the strongest in terms of location and tax money that would return to the state.