Maryland OKs MGM casino bid after reviewing connections in Macau

MGM Resorts International got some good news out of Maryland Thursday, learning it has passed a state background check and will be permitted to bid on a casino license for a new gambling development outside of Washington, DC.

The ruling by Maryland regulators bodes well for the company in Massachusetts, where MGM has pitched an $800 million gambling resort in downtown Springfield. Doubts about whether the company would pass the Bay State’s background checks have dogged the project for more than a year, based on objections by New Jersey casino regulators to MGM’s relationships in Macau. MGM Chairman Jim Murren has had to repeatedly explain his company’s relationships in Macau at press conferences in Massachusetts.

Macau doesn’t have anything directly to do with Massachusetts or Maryland, but in the gambling business, license holders are constantly judged for what they do in every jurisdiction in which they operate.

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Approval by Maryland does not guarantee the same result in Massachusetts, but MGM can point to the decision by Maryland regulators as one prominent piece of evidence that the company has the required corporate ethics to hold a casino license.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal has a good summary of MGM’s experiences in Maryland and New Jersey.