Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The real National Harbor end game

(Image generated courtesy of

Today's Washington Post reports, in "$1 billion casino at National Harbor proposed by Prince George’s Executive Baker," that Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker is proposing a casino for National Harbor, something prophesized by Post columnist Robert McCartney in his New Year's Day column starting 2012. (I guess you could call that a leak gauged to get a sense of people's reactions.)

From the article:

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III said Thursday that he wants to see a billion-dollar casino on the banks of the Potomac River, arguing that a “high-end” gaming destination at National Harbor would be a catalyst for economic development and generate much-needed tax revenue. ...

The developer of National Harbor endorsed the plan Thursday, but the prospect of bringing a full-fledged casino to Prince George’s faces considerable hurdles, including mixed views among county lawmakers and staunch opposition from the owner of a planned casino in neighboring Anne Arundel County.

Baker, who opposed slots during a decade as a state delegate, said in an interview that his views have changed since becoming county executive 14 months ago and that — under the right conditions — he would welcome a facility “much like what you see in Las Vegas.”

“The economy around us has changed,” Baker said. “There are far fewer revenue options for the county or the state. . . . We’re going to do everything we can to get this bill passed.”

I have written about this possibility some:

- Gaming a possibility at National Harbor, Prince George's County?
- Racing to the bottom on gambling
- Bring casinos to Takoma Park? (although this point could have been made equally about Silver Spring or Bethesda)

Likely it will raise the sceptre of the need for Internet gaming and other gambling options in DC, if only for convention business to be able to compete against National Harbor and Gaylord Resorts.

Note that while National Harbor is anglin' for gamblin', plans for building the "National" Children's Museum" that the development poached from DC ("Children's Museum Unveils Not Only Design, but Vision") are going nowhere ("Children's museum plans stall; new space a 'downgrade,' official says" from the Gazette).

Racing for the bottom indeed.

Now gambling isn't even unseemly--well it is if you're Michael Brown or Jack Abramoff--if so called good government proponents like elected officials Mary Cheh of DC or Rushern Baker of Prince George's County are advocating for it.

A small glimmer of hope for supporters of Internet gambling came, ironically, from those who had voted to repeal the existing law. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) echoed the sentiment of others in the council who are not completely opposed to continuing the dialogue and working towards some other legislation to legalize Internet gambling in the district.

“I believe there is a place we can try this,” Cheh said. “ I just think it can be controlled.”
Washington Confidential

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home