Casino complex in DC approved; Radio One on board


Radio OneMGM has just been awarded a contract to build a $925 million casino at the National Harbor in Prince George’s County, MD—right near DC on the Potomac River. The resort will include a casino with 3,600 slots, 140 table games, a 300-suite, 4.5-star quality hotel with luxury spa and rooftop pool, shopping, along with fine and casual dining. There will also be a dedicated 1,200-seat theater venue, 35,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and a 5,000-space parking structure.

The partnership for the complex includes DC-based Radio One, currently the largest minority investor at MGM National Harbor. MGM Resorts International announced in October it will bring Radio One founder Cathy Hughes and her son, CEO Alfred C. Liggins III, on as investors. They plan on ponying up $40 million for the project, now that it has been approved by the MD State Gaming Commission.

The casino is estimated to open in mid-2016 and will bring 4,000 permanent jobs to Maryland.

RBR-TVBR observation: This should be a very lucrative investment for Radio One, just on its location alone—it will be the closest casino to DC-area residents by far. It’s right near the DC beltway and I-95 and National Harbor is already a major destination without the casino. While radio companies continue to suffer with advertisers defecting to online, this is the time to diversify and Radio One is doing just that in a very smart manner–and within the market of both its HQ and four O&O stations. There will be plenty of cross-promotional opportunities.