By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
Caesars Entertainment has submitted plans for a $310 million, two-story casino with 3,750 slot machines to the Maryland State Commission. It would be Maryland’s second largest casino and would potentially generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue for the city and state. Ceasar’s Entertainment is the only current bidder for the license. A state panel is expected to decide by March whether to approve the proposal.
Called Harrah’s Baltimore—Caesars owns the Harrah’s brand—the casino would be located at the corner of Warner St. and Worchester St., in South Baltimore, near the M&T Bank Stadium, where the Ravens play. With 110,000 square feet of gaming space, it would also include a 125-seat steak house, a 400-seat buffet, a 5,700-square-foot Baltimore-themed sports bar and restaurant, 1,200 square feet of retail, seven food and beverage outlets and a 2,500-square-foot food court, as well as a 4,000-car garage.
The facility would be profitable with just the 3,750 slot machines approved by voters. However, Caesars would ask state lawmakers for a constitutional amendment that would also allow table games. The building is designed with room to build out different types of casino space. Should the state of Maryland legalize table gaming, the casino will expand. Caesars owns the popular World Series of Poker franchise. Such a tournament could bring as many as 1,000 high-rolling card sharks to Baltimore.
The development would mean changes to the surrounding area, not just the site where the casino would be built. Russell St. would be widened to add turning lanes and a new traffic light would be put in at Russell and Worchester. According to Caesars, the casino would create 1,212 direct jobs during construction and 1,225 jobs when up and running.
Caesars Entertainment Corporation is the largest casino entertainment company in the world. Since it was founded more than 70 years ago, it has expanded and now owns or manages casino resorts on four continents. If the state approves the project in the first quarter of 2012, construction will begin in the second half of 2012 and the casino will open in late 2013.