The County Council's vote comes seven months after a state panel awarded MGM the sixth and final available casino license in Maryland. Council member Mary Lehman, a Laurel Democrat, was the lone dissenter.
Construction of the project is expected to generate 2,000 jobs for the region, said Lorenzo Creighton, president and chief operating officer of MGM National Harbor, with 3,600 direct jobs created when the facility opens in 2016 — on an estimated $160 million payroll.
The casino already has begun negotiating with potential restaurants, including chef Marcus Saumelsson's Harlem restaurant Red Rooster, known for its American comfort food, Creighton said.
Extending seven stories underground the casino, a parking garage will hold nearly 5,000 cars, sparking concerns about traffic. Lorenzo said MGM is working with the Maryland State Highway Administration to develop a traffic management plan.
Other concerns included construction plans for five large electronic screens and building-mounted signs. Lorenzo said they fit the "interactive design" of the casino complex.
The casino is expected to be one of MGM's most profitable in the United States, Lorenzo said.
"We think it will be one of our more profitable resorts in the United States," he said."It's a great location in a great site and a great region. For MGM, it is a great project for us, considering the region and the potential for tourist draw."