- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
As a crucial subcommittee vote on bringing expanded gambling to Prince George's County was pushed back another day, County Executive Rushen L. Baker III (D) suggested he'd be willing to compromise his plan for a high-end casino at National Harbor.
“There are things we can do between now and Monday to get something out of here that works for everybody,” Baker told reporters in Annapolis Friday morning.
The Senate passed a bill last month that would create a sixth site for slot machines, to be located in Prince George's County, and allow table games at it and the state's five approved slots locations. The bill met with resistance in the House Ways and Means Committee this week, as members said the proposal would give too much revenue to the casino operators.
Baker has pitched National Harbor — the $4 billion mixed-use project on the banks of the Potomac River in Oxon Hill — as an ideal site for a $1 billion Las Vegas-style casino that would draw visitors from Virginia and Washington, D.C., and the bill would allow for 4,750 slot machines at the facility.
The other potential site in the county for slot machines is Rosecroft Raceway, a harness track in Fort Washington.
Possible compromises include a reduction in the number of machines and a gradual phase-in of more gambling over a few years, Baker said.
But the bill first must win the approval of the House Financial Resources Subcommittee, chaired by Del. Frank Turner (D-Dist. 13) of Columbia, who said after Tuesday's hearing that the bill would need many changes to pass the House.
Turner told reporters Friday afternoon that the subcommittee would not discuss the bill Friday, as was expected, but might discuss it Saturday.