MGM National Harbor Opens To Packed House

Jessica Welman December 13, 2016 1788 Reads
MGM National Harbor first week

MGM National Harbor Resort & Casino near Washington, D.C., has been at capacity since it opened its doors on Thursday.

The Washington Times is even reporting the casino is advising patrons without reservations to delay visits to the property until the buzz dies down a little.

The onslaught of patrons slowed on Sunday. That did not dampen the mood, though.

By all accounts, the opening was a smashing success.

The local government Twitter continued to issue alerts like this over the weekend:

MGM is sixth property to open in MD

Maryland opened its first casino in the state in 2010, with several others following, including Maryland Live!

In 2013, MGM beat out the likes of Penn National and Greenwood Racing with a $925 million proposal to open a property in Prince George’s County on the Potomac River. When the construction wrapped, the cost of the property was up to $1.4 billion.

The big cost comes with a big reward. The final product features 125,000 square-feet of gaming space with over 3,300 slot machines and more than 125 table games. That includes a poker room with 39 tables.

The resort also features restaurants from celebrity chefs like Brian and Michael Voltaggio and Marcus Samuelsson.

The casino also has a hotel with 308 rooms, 74 of which are suites. Room rates currently start at $199/night.

First casino in the DC area

Maryland Live! and Horseshoe Baltimore are not too far from the nation’s capital. National Harbor is close enough to have a view of the Washington Monument. The new property could take away business from other casinos in the state.

What was once a region where casinos were restricted to Native American tribes and Atlantic City is now bustling with activity thanks to the opening of the casino market in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York.

The impact on tax revenue

This year, Maryland casinos have been generating between $90 and $100 million in revenue each month. The state has seen table games far outperform expectations. Slots are underperforming though.

The good news is revenue was already growing year-over-year in the state before MGM’s new property opened. Unfortunately, tax revenue is still below original estimates.

With this sixth property open in a metropolitan area, the hope is numbers can move more in line with expectations. The capacity crowds are certainly a good start.

Now that National Harbor is open, the taxes from gaming revenue will be distributed slightly differently. Prior to now, all tax revenue went to the Maryland Education Trust Fund. Now, five percent will go to local impact groups and the other 15 percent will go to the trust.

Is it safe to try and plan a trip?

Local authorities have been notifying people via social media when the parking garage is not full and the property is safe to visit.

With holidays and New Year’s on the horizon, making reservations for hotels and restaurant meals is strongly suggested.

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