MGM Resorts kicks in another $3 million; Maryland casino campaign now tops $17.9 million

The fight over whether or not a Las Vegas-style casino will be built in suburban Maryland has become the most costly political campaign in state history.

The Washington Post reported that MGM Resorts International kicked in another $3 million toward the effort to approve Question 7, bringing the company’s total investment to $8.4 million.

Penn National Gaming, which is against the casino in Prince George’s County, has contributed $9.4 million to the No on Question 7 effort.

The total between the two companies in $17.9 million, surpassing the $17 million spend on Maryland’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

MGM Resorts, which wants to build a $700 million hotel-casino complex at National Harbor is the ballot measure is approved, is not alone is supporting the campaign. The Peterson Cos., the developer of National Harbor, has contributed $400,000.

And a group that includes Caesars Entertainment Corp., which has a license to build a Baltimore casino, has contributed $1.1 million to the campaign.

Caesars isn’t favorable to the competition from a casino in Prince George’s County, but the company says it wants table games and a lower gaming tax rate that are part of the plan.

Penn National is trying to protect a casino the company owns in neighboring West Virginia from competition. Penn also owns the Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County.