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National Harbor Casino Would Bring Money To Maryland

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A 2010 photo of the sculpture "The Awakening" by Seward Johnson at
National Harbor, Maryland.  A casino at National Harbor is being proposed to the Maryland General Assembly.
Photos o' Randomness <http://www.flickr.com/photos/christajoy42/4528593459/>
A 2010 photo of the sculpture "The Awakening" by Seward Johnson at National Harbor, Maryland.  A casino at National Harbor is being proposed to the Maryland General Assembly.

A proposed casino at National Harbor in Prince George's County would rake in millions of dollars, according to a report by Maryland's Department of Legislative Services (PDF). But that study also shows much of that revenue would come at the expense of two other casinos in the state.

The report is part of the work of an advisory group to determine whether there should be a special session of the General Assembly next month on the issue of gaming expansion in Maryland.

The National Harbor casino would bring in a projected $460 million, but the report adds two other casinos in Maryland would be hit hard by the facility. The Maryland Live! Casino just opened last week at Arundel Mills Mall and the report projects it would lose 25 percent of its slot machine revenue to the National Habor location. The owners of the facility believe it could lose 40 percent of its customers. There's also an active license for a casino planned for downtown Baltimore.

But the prospect of adding around $100 million to the state's education trust fund might be too much for lawmakers to pass up. 

"I don't know if we could ever have numbers that would say 'A-ha! You must have a special session,'" said State Sen. Richard Madaleno (D-Montgomery County), who is in the advisory group. "I think there are numbers compelling enough to say this is an issue the entire General Assembly should take a vote on, which we didn't during the regular session.

"Because whether we do the sixth site or table games, it would bring in several hundred million dollars to the state," Madeleno added.

The Senate did pass a bill during the regular session approving a Prince George's County location and table games, but the House never voted on it.

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