Cordish says it remains opposed to another Md. casino


A section of the ribbon cut at the grand opening of Maryland Live! casino on June 6.(Photo by Mark Gail/The Washington Post)

“We adamantly oppose the addition of a sixth gaming license in Maryland before the existing five approved facilities are open and stabilized,”the Cordish Cos. said in a statement. “We continue to assert that the common sense approach to maximizing gaming taxes for the state is to maintain the tax rate at current levels and add table games to the five existing sites.”

The company’s statement was released little more than a week before Maryland lawmakers are scheduled to hold a special session on allowing a casino in Prince George’s, most likely at National Harbor, as well as Las Vegas-style table games at existing slots locations.

On Tuesday, Cordish shared a document with Anne Arundel legislators that detailed numerous provisions it would like to see in any bill authorizing a sixth site.

Among them: a steep reduction in the tax rate Cordish pays on slots revenue, a delay in the opening date of a Prince George’s facility, legalization of Internet gaming and restrictions on future changes to Maryland’s gambling program.

Cordish said in Wednesday’s statement that “numerous officials in the state have requested that we provide our input as to how to make a sixth license compatible with fairness to, and hold harmless, both existing licensees, and their host jurisdictions, and maximizing revenues to the state.”

Cordish has argued for months that a facility in neighboring Prince George’s would unfairly cut into its market in the Washington region.

Maryland Live!, which opened June 6, is one of three slots casinos operating in Maryland. Two other facilities have been awarded licenses but have yet to open.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.

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