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Maryland Politics
Posted at 11:04 AM ET, 03/16/2012

Caesars says it supports Md. gambling expansion


A view of the gaming floor a Hollywood Casino Perryville, which in September 2010 became Maryland’s first slots facility. (Doug Kapustin for The Washington Post)
A representative of Caesars Entertainment, the lead investor in a proposed Baltimore casino, said Friday morning that the company supports legislation that would authorize a sixth Maryland gaming location in Prince George’s County.

Trevor Busche, vice president of corporate development, told a gathering of the Baltimore House delegation that Caesars does not welcome the additional competition. But, he said, the company wants “certainty” in the market and likes several other provisions in the bill.

Among those: allowing table games in addition to the slot machines at all of the state’s casinos; and increasing the share of proceeds that operators may keep from 33 percent to 40 percent.

In response to questions from lawmakers, Busche said Caesars has no interest in seeking the license for the Prince George’s casino.

“No,” Busche said. “We’ve had no discussions, we’ve had no consideration.”

A separate House panel plans a hearing Friday afternoon on the bill that would authorize the Prince George’s casino.

The owner of another casino, scheduled to open in June in neighboring Anne Arundel County, strongly opposed the addition of a site in Prince George’s. Joe Weinberg, president of the Cordish Cos., the project’s developer, this week called the idea “insane.”

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) is pushing for a billion-dollar casino at National Harbor. Rosecroft Raceway, the recently reopened horse track, is also interested in slots.

Several Baltimore delegates expressed skepticism Friday about whether the pending legislation would help a Baltimore casino.

Busche acknowledged a Prince George’s casino would cut into the Baltimore market, but he said “there’s still a substantial base of population” in the surrounding area.

By  |  11:04 AM ET, 03/16/2012

 
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