MGM National Harbor

A rendering of the MGM National Harbor complex. ( MGM National Harbor Rendering / September 23, 2013)

Two companies that unsuccessfully bid to win a casino license in Prince George's County have agreed not to challenge the decision, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency said Tuesday.

In exchange, the state will give back millions of dollars in fees and bonds.

Both Prince George's Racing Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming, and Maryland Racing LLC, a subsidiary of Greenwood Racing, recently signed a "Release and Covenant Not to Sue," state officials said.

In doing so, they gave up all rights to contest through litigation the December decision by the Video Lottery Facility Location Commission to award the license to MGM Resorts International.

MGM had proposed building a $925 million casino resort on a hilltop property near the National Harbor development south of Washington.

With the prospect of litigation settled, the two losing companies will have license fees and $500,000 protest bonds returned to them. Penn National will have $18 million in license fees returned, and Greenwood will have $28.5 million returned.

Donald Fry, chair of the location commission, said he was pleased with the news.

"The Commission took extraordinary steps to ensure that the awarding of a casino license in Prince George's County was consistent with the criteria established by the legislature," Fry said in a statement. "On behalf of the Commission, I am pleased that the applicants that were not selected felt that the award process was fair and balanced and there was no reason to challenge the Commission's decision."

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