Prince George’s Co. executive: MGM National Harbor will bring economic boost, jobs

WASHINGTON — The MGM National Harbor casino, which opens at 11 p.m. Thursday, has already created thousands of jobs, and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker says the resort “will be phenomenal and it will be great for the county.”

Baker said he’s thrilled about the opening of the nearly $1.5 billion MGM National Harbor, as well as the $40 million in income that is expected to come from the casino and be pumped into the county’s economy and the 4,000 permanent jobs the casino created, 40 percent of which are held by Prince George’s County residents.

Baker says he sees the new casino/resort as a catalyst that will help transform the country into a destination place. “It’s going to make Prince George’s County, in terms of economic development, a business destination,” he said. “I think people are going to look at us differently.”

The casino is eventually expected to attract an average of 20,000 visitors each day.

But the big question is: Will the casino be a catalyst for even more economic development?

Although the casino doors have not officially opened, Baker is already looking ahead to how it could help draw another huge project to the county: “I even think it will help us in our bid to get the FBI here.”

He believes the new lavish casino resort, along with rising home values in the county, could help seal the deal to get the bid for a new headquarters.

Baker suggests that the people tasked with selecting the new location for the FBI, who are also considering Virginia, are looking at more than just the plot of land. “They’re looking for quality of life around.  So it speaks to us as being a destination place. I think it goes to the whole [idea that] Prince George’s County is on the move and I think that helps us.”

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