Ad Watch: New National Harbor ads stress jobs and increases to tax revenue

MGM Resorts International, a group that wants to build a casino at National Harbor, has poured

into a TV and radio advertising campaign touting jobs and tax revenue as benefits from expanding gambling.


The TV spot reasserts a series of claims made during the August debate.

Claim #1: The new casino will bring "4,000 permanent, good paying jobs." MGM execs have said the new positions will pay $50,000, a figure that includes benefits like health care. (Maryland's Department of Legislative Services, the independent arbiter of how state laws might impact the state treasury, has estimated most of the salaries would be closer to $25K).


Claim #2: The ad says the proposed casino expansion will mean "hundreds of millions for Maryland schools." DLS estimates that the program will bring in an additional $100 million a year when fully up and running in the budget year that starts July 2019.

Of that $100 million, about $50 million comes from adding table games. And about $50 million would come from slots revenue at the new casino.

The ad does not mention that ratification of the law also means hundreds of millions per year for the casino operators. By 2017, the state's casino owners will make and extra $525 million a year, according to DLS.

The ad was funded by a pro-gambling ballot committee created 48 hours after the August special session was complete. It is called For Maryland Schools and Jobs.

*Text of pro-gambling television ad*

It'll start out as concrete and steel.
But it'll become so much more: a new world-class resort casino in Maryland.
Two thousand construction jobs to build it.
Four thousand permanent, good paying jobs when it's done.
Hundreds of millions for Maryland schools.
Real oversight to make sure the money goes where it is supposed to.
But none of it will happen unless we vote for Question 7 the November.
Vote for Question 7 and help build a better future for Maryland.