MGM Resorts vs. Penn National: which company can spend more on Maryland's ballot question

MGM Resorts International has doubled down on Maryland.

The casino company, which is hoping to build an $700 million gaming complex in the National Harbor area of suburban Maryland, donated another $3 million to the effort backing a ballot question that would expand casino gaming.

According to the Baltimore Sun, MGM Resorts wrote a check for $2.9 million last week, bringing the total to $5.4 million the company has dedicated toward the passage of Question 7 in November.

MGM Resorts has nearly matched the $5.5 million rival casino operator Penn National Gaming has given to an organization opposed to the casino expansion. Penn National operates a racetrack in Maryland’s Prince George’s County, a small casino in Maryland, and a competing casino in West Virginia.

According to the Sun, in the 2010 in Maryland’s 2010 gubernatorial election, the spending on both sides reached $17 million. (Gov. Martin O'Malley spent $10 million. Former Gov. Robert Ehrlich spent $7 million.)

For now, you better not invite MGM Resorts Chairman Jim Murren and Penn National Chairman Peter Carlino to the same dinner party.