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Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Caesars plans $300 million casino in downtown Baltimore

1 August 2012

Caesars Entertainment Inc. will develop a $300 million casino in downtown Baltimore after an investment group headed by the company was awarded a license Tuesday by Maryland gaming authorities.

In a statement, Caesars said it would build the casino in partnership with Detroit-based Rock Gaming.

The casino, named Harrah's Baltimore, will have 3,750 slot machine-like video lottery terminals and is expected to open in 2014. The casino will include several restaurants and will be just south of the football stadium where the Baltimore Ravens play.

The Maryland Video Lottery Facility Location Commission granted the license after an application process and hearing. It was the fifth and final gaming license available in the state.

"The development of Harrah's Baltimore is part of our plan to develop casinos in urban areas that integrate into and support the surrounding communities," Caesars Entertainment Chairman Gary Loveman said in a statement.

Maryland lawmakers are scheduled to meet in a special session next week to consider adding a sixth casino in suburban Prince George's County. Representatives will also consider changing Maryland's 67 percent tax on slot machine revenues - the highest in the nation - and allow casinos to add table games.

"If table games are approved by Maryland's General Assembly in a special session next week, it will add to the customer experiences the property will provide," Loveman said.

Caesars and Rock Gaming are partners in the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, which opened in May. The companies also are building Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, which is scheduled to open next year. Rock Gaming is headed by Dan Gilbert, the majority owner of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

Harrah's Baltimore would be Maryland's second-largest casino behind Maryland Live!, which opened last month in Anne Arundel County. Maryland Live!, operated by the Cordish Cos., opened with 3,200 slot machines and is expected to grow to 4,750 machines by the fall.

A casino in Prince George's County would be operated by MGM Resorts International. The company plans to place the $700 million facility at National Harbor, a 350-acre complex on the Potomac River in southern Maryland that is a waterfront destination for the Washington area.

The casino would be roughly 10 miles from the nation's capital.
Caesars plans $300 million casino in downtown Baltimore is republished from