BUSINESS

Rushern Baker pitches Md. House panel on referendum for casino at National Harbor

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A Maryland House panel heard the pitch for a full-blown casino at National Harbor in Prince George's County today.

Some support it. Others are concerned about the cost. And one business wants the casino for itself.

Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker spent the afternoon trying to convince a seemingly skeptical House Ways and Means Committee to pass his proposed bill which would set up a statewide referendum to allow not just a slot machine parlor like those already running in Maryland, but a billion-dollar casino at National Harbor.

"We're bringing a destination resort, which will have live entertainment, high-end retail, mixed use," Baker says. "Those are the things that will bring economic development."

He faces an uphill battle. Operators of nearby Rosecroft Raceway want any new gambling venture in the area built at the failing track.

The developers of the new slots facility at Arundel Mills don't want the competition.

And then there are those who don't like the idea of a casino at all, saying it's not good for the community.

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