At the ribbon cutting for MGM Resorts International's new office in Prince George's County, officials wanted to make one point clear – this is not a campaign office, it's an information office.
That message, which comes in the wake of a barrage of pro and con gaming advertisements on television and radio, was repeated by MGM executives in formal remarks.
The storefront office located on Waterfront Street at National Harbor is where Marshunda Johnson, MGM Resorts vice president of compliance, and Christopher Oh, ARIA Resort's director of finance and strategy, will operate from during the run-up to the election in which voters will decide if an additional video lottery facility in Prince George's County is approved. Both Johnson and Oh have temporarily moved to the county from Las Vegas, now residing in condos at National Harbor.
The Peterson Companies, developer of National Harbor, and MGM Resorts International have reached an agreement on developing a destination resort casino at National Harbor if voters approve the addition of a sixth casino.
Johnson has been with MGM Resorts for more than 13 years and works with a team to ensure all regulatory requirements, legal obligations, internal policies and procedures are followed. Oh, a native of Baltimore, has been with MGM for three years. He is on the team at ARIA Resort in Las Vegas that develops and supports financial and strategic initiatives to maximize operating performance.
Johnson wasjoined by Alan Feldman, MGM senior vice president of public affairs, and Kent Digby, vice president of operations for The Peterson Companies, in the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
In remarks prior to the ribbon cutting, Feldman commented that 60 percent of MGM Resorts revenue comes from non-gaming activities.
"We don't consider ourselves a gaming company," Feldman said.
The speakers encouraged those with questions about MGM Resorts International to stop in and learn about the company and the possible development.
Johnson said the office will provide information and hand out literature to those who are interested. She said she expects that the focus of most people's questions will be on jobs and traffic.
Establishing an office in a potential new gaming location is routine for MGM Resorts International, she said.
Johnson, who moved to Maryland August 26, said the company plans to be active in getting to know Prince George's County and its residents and already has scheduled to participate in several events such as For Sisters Only, Oktoberfest at National Harbor and the Congressional Black Caucus activities.
"We will be in the community," said Johnson. "That's what we are here for."