IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ROSECROFT SUPPORTERS
Posted 1035 days
An Open Letter from Penn National Gaming
August 30, 2012
To the Citizens of Maryland:
In 2008, Penn National Gaming was proud to help lead the effort to bring expanded gaming to the State of Maryland. In September 2010 we opened the state’s first permanent gaming facility in Perryville to help stop Maryland tax dollars from flooding across the border to Delaware and other neighboring states. We then purchased Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George’s County and re-opened the shuttered facility, restoring hundreds of jobs and charting a path toward the hopeful revitalization of racing in Maryland. Today, we employ nearly 400 people in our Maryland facilities and have generated more than $140 million in new state taxes since 2010.
Despite our company’s deep commitment to, and significant investment in, Maryland, the State Legislature recently approved a deeply flawed bill during Special Session that, among other things, will result in a virtual sole source contract for a casino at National Harbor, thus ensuring the demise of Rosecroft and the long term solution to saving horse racing in Maryland. Shockingly, this bill was rushed through in less than five days, with the language of the bill being kept secret until just two days before the Legislature convened.
In addition to our interests in Prince George’s County, we feel that our facility in Cecil County has been unfairly treated, as has our host community. Despite the significant drop in revenues as a result of the Anne Arundel opening and anticipated Baltimore opening, we did not receive the same kind of tax adjustments provided to every other casino in the state – including those casinos located nowhere near the anticipated Prince George’s site. The significant difference between our tax rate and that of Anne Arundel and Baltimore will hurt revenues and put the Perryville facility at a competitive disadvantage.
Now the law must be approved by you. We feel we have been left with no choice but to join with other concerned citizens and local business owners in a campaign to educate Maryland citizens about the proposed law’s deficiencies, and to argue that Maryland would in fact generate more casino tax revenue for the State if the law were to remain the same, as opposed to an expansion plan that results in significant tax breaks for casino operators.
1. Prior to the August legislative special session, we proposed an investment of $500 million at our Rosecroft facility at the current 67% tax rate. Over time this would have generated more revenue for the state than the combination of a 6th casino and the tax breaks that were given to current casinos. Yet policy-makers chose not to give this serious consideration.
2. It will be said that our opposition to the law is to protect our existing facility in Charles Town, West Virginia. If that were the case then we never would have offered to invest $500 million in a new establishment at Rosecroft. It really is that simple. We funded a significant portion of the 2008 referendum to approve gaming in Maryland and worked hard to open our facility in 2010.
We at Penn National Gaming are committed to Maryland. We love it here and we’re proud of our role and the facilities we own and operate here. We hope that is never forgotten in the heat of a campaign when we’ll be pointing out ways Maryland government can do it better than the way it has chosen.
President & COO
Penn National Gaming
Vice President & General Manager
Hollywood Casino, Perryville
Director of Operations