Patrons head in and out of the MGM National Harbor casino resort on Dec. 11, three days after it opened for business. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** Patrons head in and out of the MGM National Harbor casino resort on Dec. 11, three days after it opened for business. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

MGM National Harbor has done its part to hiring Prince George’s County residents and contracting minority businesses, according to a company agreement report.

Officials briefed the county council last week, emphasizing that residents who worked construction exceeded the 20 percent goal of labor hours and that 30 percent of minority-owned businesses participated in the project.

Figures within the 22-page report were verified by K. E. Timmons, a law firm in Baltimore.

“Leveraging great development to create local investment, local hiring, and local opportunities for our small and minority owned businesses is a critical part of creating legacy wealth and shared prosperity in Prince George’s County,” County Councilman Mel Franklin (D-District 9) of Upper Marlboro said in a statement. “Just as we hold developers accountable when they fall short of their commitments, we must also give credit where credit is due when companies exceed our expectations.”

The report outlines data from 2014, the year the county and MGM entered a Community Benefits Agreement, through 2016.

For instance, 40 percent of minority business were contracted at nearly $368 million to handle construction work on the resort.

About 1,900 county residents worked 27 percent of the nearly 4.1 million construction hours on the site.

So far, about 47 percent of the more than 4,000 jobs at the resort have been filled by county residents.

“These results reflect the historic commitment to diversity and inclusion that are cornerstones of the corporate mission of MGM Resorts International,” the report states. “Nearly two years into this project, this report highlights the progress already made.”

The county projects MGM could bring in $34.2 million in revenue with at least 50 percent designated for education, per the community agreement.

However, some of the proceeds from MGM goes not only to the state but also to two other casinos in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County based on a hold-harmless agreement.

Thomas Himler, the county’s deputy chief administrative officer for budget, finance and economic development, estimated about $3 million would come from video lottery terminals, commonly known as slot machines.

County Councilman Obie Patterson (D-District 8) of Fort Washington expressed some skepticism about how MGM would benefit the county, but admitted the new revenue will boost schools, the police department and taxes.

“The more we get, the more the county gets,” he said. “We just got to make sure we spend it for the purposes designated to by the state and by the county.”

Meanwhile, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, which oversees the state’s casinos, released a monthly report last week on gaming revenue for March and MGM ranked number one.

Although the $1.4 billion complex opened Dec. 8, it generated $51.2 million from slot machines and table games.

The other five casinos the gaming agency monitors all experienced a decrease in revenue.

Maryland Live in Anne Arundel County came in second at $46.6 million, but experienced a decrease in revenue by almost $8 million from the same time last year.

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *