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National Harbor Casino Approved, Expected To Open In 2016

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The council voted 8-1 in favor of the casino at National Harbor.
The council voted 8-1 in favor of the casino at National Harbor.

In Maryland, the plan for a $925 million MGM casino and hotel in Prince George's County has been approved.

The county's district council voted 8-1 in favor of the casino at National Harbor. Officials at MGM say they're now ready to begin construction of the resort and hotel as early as next month. The vote comes one week after a final hearing on the proposal in which some residents raised objections to certain aspects of the casino such as large video displays which might distract drivers and potential traffic tie-ups.

Prince George's County Council Chair Mel Franklin says a comprehensive traffic plan developed by the state must be in place before the casino opens. "Whenever you open a major development like this, you're going to have some significant traffic, particularly during the opening," Franklin said. "But we think a lot of the measures that will be required will be enough to mitigate a lot of the impact."

The lone no vote on the council was cast by Mary Lehman, who maintained her objection to gaming in the state. The 23-acre casino, which features an entertainment venue and 300-room hotel, is expected to open sometime in 2016.


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