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Legislation that year required that casinos in Baltimore and Anne Arundel, Cecil and Worcester counties all be built within a certain distance from certain major highways, while the Allegany County site was required to be built at Rocky Gap State Park.

Officials say the restrictions are designed not to favor certain developers but to ensure that a facility is built where it will have the most positive effect.

National Harbor is the far better place for it,” said Delegate Barbara A. Frush, Prince George’s Democrat. “I really believe that we ought to choose the location that we think is most viable and candraw the most amount of revenue.”