Please stand by for more Prince George’s County casino-license chatter

December 12, 2013

Artist’s rendering of the proposed Parx Casino Hotel & Spa in Fort Washington. (Courtesy: Greenwood Racing)

With decision day approaching, Maryland’s casino-location commission is convening a public teleconference on Thursday to further discuss the candidates for the Prince George’s County casino license.

The state’s Video Lottery Facility Location Commission will host a 3:30 p.m. call with the casino operators vying for the lucrative license and the six consulting firms that were paid by the state to study and analyze everything from traffic and fiscal impacts of the three proposals to projected revenues. The call comes less than a week after the commission’s marathon session in Annapolis, where the consultants presented their findings.

The takeaway from the meeting: MGM National Harbor is money, as the MGM Resorts proposal came out on top in most categories.(The written reports can be found on the Maryland Lottery Web site.)

The consultants’ findings were immediately attacked by rival casino executives, with one — Tony Ricci, chief executive of the company that wants to build the $800 million Parx Casino Hotel & Spa in Fort Washington — calling the revenue models “fatally flawed.”

Ricci will participate in Thursday’s conference call along with representatives of MGM Resorts and Penn National Gaming, which wants to build a casino at the historic Rosecroft harness-racing track.

One thing that may come up, as it did at Friday’s meeting: Traffic around National Harbor, now that the Tanger Outlets mall is open near MGM’s site. The headline of a Gazette story published Thursday: “‘Traffic is a nightmare,’ say Oxon Hill residents living near new mall.”

The public won’t be able to ask questions during the call, as the comment period has closed. According to the licensing commission, a total of 42 pieces of written testimony were submitted in addition to the 128 oral presentations made during a series of public meetings at Friendly High School in October. (MGM generated the most public comments during those meetings, with 48.)

The dial-in number for the teleconference is (855) 274-6187.

The commission plans to make and announce its decision on the state’s sixth and final casino license on Dec. 20 in Baltimore.

J. Freedom du Lac is an enterprise reporter for The Post, covering history, gambling, people and places. Previously, he served as the paper’s pop music critic.
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