Connecticut | Openings & Closings

Non-Indian gaming firm announces opening for big casino near D.C.

An aerial view of the MGM National Harbor, as seen in July 2016. Photo by MGM Resorts International

A non-Indian gaming company that has been battling tribes is almost ready to debut a huge casino near the nation's capital.

The $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor will open on December 8, MGM Resorts International announced on Monday. The massive facility features 125,000 square-feet of gaming space, a 308-room hotel, a 3,000-seat venue, 50,000 square-feet of meeting space, 18,000 square-feet of retail, restaurants by several top chefs, a spa/salon and a pool.

"After years of planning, designing and developing, we are thrilled that the moment is almost upon us to share this very special resort with the community and visitors from around the world,” Lorenzo Creighton, the president of MGM National Harbor, said in a press release.

The facility is located in Maryland, less than 10 miles from the U.S. Capitol. While the state is not home to any federally-recognized tribes, MGM opposed federal recognition for the Pamunkey Tribe in neighboring Virginia.

While the company's efforts did not succeed, tribal leaders have never confirmed their intention to pursue a casino. In any event, the Pamunkey Reservation, which has been recognized as Indian land since Colonial times, is more than 100 miles south of National Harbor.

Separately, MGM is trying to stop the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe from opening a new casino in Connecticut. MGM is building a $950 million commercial facility in neighboring Massachusetts and a new facility in the region would pose additional competition.

The tribes have yet to choose a site for their potential development, which would still need to be approved by the Connecticut Legislature. They still believe they can open a casino before MGM finishes work in Massachusetts in the fall of 2018.

Read More on the Story:
MGM National Harbor casino announces Dec. 8 grand opening (The Washington Post 10/3)

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