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MGM National Harbor moves to build a sportsbook as Maryland sets for regulation

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aryland’s MGM National Harbor has been filing permit applications with Prince George’s County since early March for what it calls a “sportsbook enhancement project.” The venue will be located adjacent to National Market, MGM National Harbor’s food court.

The Maryland General Assembly approved legislation Monday to implement sports betting statewide, but Gov. Larry Hogan has not yet signed it and state gaming regulators will still need to issue rules on its operation. Maryland voters approved sports betting by referendum in November.

“We support the action of Maryland’s legislature that brings legalized sports betting one step closer to reality,” MGM National Harbor said in a statement, as reported by Washington Business Journal. “We are actively building out a variety of experiences that will make MGM National Harbor the most cutting-edge destination in the DMV to watch and bet on sports. Details of everything we are developing will be shared in the weeks to come.”

The first application, submitted March 3 and approved April 8, called for the “demolition of three venues in National Market” and the “removal of existing casino area adjacent to National Market.” The second, submitted and approved March 23, involved the addition of power and lighting “for betting transaction counters, offices and kiosks” related to the sportsbook enhancement project. The third, submitted March 23 and not yet approved, sought permission to construct a sports betting venue adjacent to National Market.

MGM Resorts International sportsbooks all run on the BetMGM mobile app, which MGM has already rolled out in Virginia. The company has also partnered with the Washington Nationals to open a sportsbook at Nationals Park in the District.

Maryland’s sports betting law assures the state’s six casinos will each be awarded in-person sports wagering licenses, as will thoroughbred racetracks, some off-track betting and bingo facilities, and the stadiums of the Washington Football Team, Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Ravens, the Baltimore Sun reported. It also allowed for a healthy, but still capped, number of licenses for mobile and online betting.

The National Market website currently lists three restaurants as closed — Amo Los Tacos Taqueria Mexicana, District Deli and George Washington Beer & Wine. It is unclear if those are permanently shuttered to make way for the sportsbook, or temporarily closed as a result of the pandemic. 

With Covid-related restrictions easing and vaccinations rolling out, and even at 50% capacity, as required by Prince George’s County, the 1 million-square-foot resort still recorded $66.5 million in gaming revenue in March, a jump of 6% compared with March 2019.


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