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Republicans push to auction off Maryland casino license

Originally published in the Washington Examiner

By Matt Connolly | Examiner Staff Writer
Published on Thursday, February 07, 2013
Some Maryland lawmakers are pushing for the state to auction off its coveted sixth casino license to the highest bidder.
Maryland's gambling expansion is no sure bet, experts warn

Originally Published in the Washington Examiner

By Matt Connolly
Published on Wednesday, December 26, 2012
As Maryland increases its reliance on gambling revenue, questions linger about how long a budget built on slot machines, poker chips and scratch cards can be sustained.
Think Tank: Taxpayers dealt bad hand for casino fees

Originally Published in the Capital Gazette

By Earl Kelly
Published on Thursday, December 20, 2012
Taxpayers are being shortchanged hundreds of millions of dollars because of the low licensing fees the state is charging casinos, the founders of two think tanks said on Wednesday.
Think tanks recommend $500 million casino license

Originally Published by Maryland Reporter

By Len Lazarick
Published on Thursday, December 20, 2012
Two Maryland think tanks are proposing that the state charge a license fee as high as $500 million for new National Harbor Casino, saying anything less, such as the current $18 million license fee, “would be a giveaway, corporate welfare, or taxpayer rip-off.”
Report: MGM licensing fee way too low

Originally Published in the Washington Examiner

By Matt Connolly
Published on Thursday, December 20, 2012
The licensing fee for a new casino in Prince George's County is about $482 million too low, according to a study released Wednesday by the Maryland Public Policy Institute.
Group says casino license is a steal

Originally Published in the Daily Record

By Alexander Pyles
Published on Thursday, December 20, 2012
Maryland’s casino operators are licensed at a fraction of the fair market value for such an award, according to a report released Wednesday by policy analysts.
$500 Million License Fee for MGM/National Harbor Casino

By Jeff Hooke
Published on Thursday, December 20, 2012
A new study reveals that the State of Maryland could be leaving $482 million on the table by setting low license fee requirements to operate a casino in Prince George’s County.   The findings shed light on the State’s flawed model for awarding a license to operate what could be Maryland’s most lucrative casino. The study, conducted by the nonpartisan Maryland Public Policy Institute and the Maryland Tax Education Foundation, seeks to identify the proper market value for the right to operate a casino at National Harbor, the most likely site for a casino in Prince George’s County.  Under current law, prospective operator MGM Resorts International is expected to pay only $18 million for a license to operate at National Harbor.  However, the Institute’s study concludes that MGM could pay the State a $500 million license fee and still enjoy a 17% rate of return on its investment.  Read the study online at mdpolicy.org “As this study demonstrates, Maryland’s current license fee model constitutes a massive giveaway to multibillion dollar corporations at a time of budgetary constraints,” said Christopher B. Summers, President of the Maryland Public Policy Institute.  “A reasonable increase in license fee requirements will not only generate new funds for public education but also help dispel the perception that Maryland lawmakers side with well-heeled casino owners over the interests of everyday citizens.” The study, conducted by investment banker Jeff Hooke, analyzes the casino’s upfront construction and startup costs, projected income, and the affordability of a $500 million license fee.   The study assumes the license will be awarded to MGM Resorts International to operate at National Harbor. “National Harbor’s optimal location and lack of competition make it a potentially lucrative gaming destination, yet lawmakers are giving away its license on the cheap,” said Hooke, the study’s author.  “To put this flawed model in perspective, the additional $482 million the State could collect at proper market value equates to nearly 21,000 four-year scholarships to the University of Maryland, College Park.” MGM Resorts International and its allies spent nearly $50 million this year in support of a ballot question to legalize casino gambling in Prince George’s County.  Maryland voters adopted the measure 52% to 48% in November.  The State’s Video Lottery Terminal Facility Location Commission could award the Prince George’s County license as early as January 2013.  Note that the state of Ohio renogiated up-front license fees after a referendum was passed by voters.
Question 7: Expansion of gaming in Maryland

Originally Published in the Star Democrat

By Gene Kelly, GOP Comment
Published on Friday, November 02, 2012
The media ads are split on Question 7. A lot of money is being spent by the gaming industry to influence the outcome both for and against the issue. But the big question for Maryland residents to answer is,"Will additional expansion of gaming benefit the state?"
Think Tank: Prince George's Casino's Impact Loss Than Advertised

Originally Published in Business Monthly

Published on Thursday, November 01, 2012
A study issued by the Rockville-based Maryland Public Policy Institute (MPPI) has revealed that the expansion of casino gambling in the stale will not produce the amount of revenue that supporters of Question 7 contend that it will.
Are Gambling Ads Bluffing on Education?

Originally Appeared on Montgomery Village Patch

By Sebastian Montes
Published on Thursday, October 25, 2012
Question 7 has drawn the most expensive media campaign Maryland has ever seen as casino interests spar over gambling’s impact on schools funding.
Total Records: 37
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