Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced that the State of Maryland Video Lottery Facility Location Commission had approved a license to operate a video lottery terminal (VLT) facility in Downtown Baltimore to CBAC Gaming, LLC, the investment group led by Caesars and Rock Gaming.
CBAC Gaming plans to invest more than $300 million to develop the casino which will be known as Harrah’s Baltimore.
In addition to 3,750 VLTs, the property will offer multiple food and beverage amenities, including a fine dining steakhouse and signature casual dining restaurants.
Construction of the 262,000 square feet casino and an adjacent parking garage is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2013, with an opening targeted in the second quarter of 2014.
“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,” said Gary Loveman, chairman, president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment.
Prior to this, Caesars and Rock Gaming teamed up as Rock Ohio Gaming to open Horseshoe Cleveland, the first casino in Ohio. They will be opening Horseshoe Cincinnati in 2013, and Caesars has also applied for a license to open a property in East Boston in partnership with Suffolk Downs.
As far as Maryland is concerned, Harrah’s Baltimore is the fifth and last gaming license the state can give for a casino as per the state constitution. Lawmakers are debating whether to amend the constitution to allow table games at all casinos and create an additional gaming license for a sixth casino in Prince George’s County at the Rosecroft Raceway, 10 miles from Washington DC.
According to a study commissioned last year by the track’s owners, the $700 million Prince George casino could create a total of 7,636 jobs, including 2,000 permanent employees hired for the casino’s operation and other temporary jobs created for the construction.
It would generate $415 million in annual tax revenue, out of which $40 million would go to the county and the rest to the state. It would create a total economic impact of $2.5 billion for Maryland during the construction and the first five years of its operation.
Maryland Live! at Arundel Mills, which recently opened as the state’s largest casino, will be hiring 1,500 employees by fall this year. If the law is amended to allow table games, Maryland Live! will need another 800 staffers to man the tables. The casino is expected to pay the state $400 million in annual taxes.