Leave the Montecristo at home when you visit the new MGM Casino at National Harbor when it opens in July; it seems there won’t be any indoor cigar-smoking going on after all.
Language that would have permitted a cigar lounge inside MGM Resorts International’s $1.3 billion casino-resort was stripped from a Prince George’s County liquor license by the House Economic Matters Committee on Friday, according to The Baltimore Sun. Also taken out by the panel prior to the bill’s approval were provisions allowing free booze and off-premises liquor sales. The omissions were regarded as necessary to the casino’s opening.
What had the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network protesting was a provision in the legislation that “authorizes the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages … in a lounge that is no more than 2,000 square feet in which the holder of the license may serve and sell cigars, for smoking in the lounge, and food,” according to the Washington Business Journal. Aside from a few exceptions, Maryland is a smoke-free state within enclosed workplaces. The provisions were also opposed by associations representing liquor dealers and restaurants.
Last month, MGM said in a statement, “At this time, MGM National Harbor has no plans to include a cigar lounge in its design,” and, “We remain compliant with Maryland’s smoke-free law and are dedicated to ensuring a safe and healthy environment for our employees and guests.”
MGM’s plans for the mega-complex in Maryland include 125,000 square feet of gaming floor with 36 table games and 3,600 slot machines. Also included is a 308-room, 24-story hotel, with villas, 27,000 square feet of meeting space, a luxury spa, 5,000 square foot parking garage, 18,000 square feet of branded, six specialty restaurants, high-end retail, and for concerts, shows, and fights, a 3,000-seat entertainment theater.