An investors group led by Caesars Entertainment has chipped in the latest contribution to Maryland’s gambling campaign, bringing its total donations to nearly $2.3 million.
The Caesars-led group, which plans to report new spending of almost $1.2 million Friday, holds a license to build a casino in downtown Baltimore, just south of the stadium where the NFL’s Ravens play.
Caesars is supporting Maryland’s gambling expansion plan, which will appear on the ballot as Question 7, even though it would mean additional competition for its casino.
The expansion plan allows a new venue in Price George’s County, but it also permits the state’s five other slots venues to add Las Vegas-style table games — a priority for Caesars.
MGM Resorts, the gambling company angling to build a casino at National Harbor in Prince George’s, has given the most to the pro-expansion campaign: $8.4 million. The developer of National Harbor, a mini-city on the Potomac River, has also kicked in $400,000.
The largest donor overall is Penn National Gaming, which is opposing the expansion plan. Penn has given $9.5 million to an anti-expansion campaign committee.
Penn has argued that the expansion plan is unfair. The company owns Rosecroft Raceway, which would be eligible to bid for a Prince George’s casino license. But the company argues that the deck is stacked against them.
Penn also operates a casino in Charles Town, W.Va., that analysts say stands to lose business if Maryland gambling expands.