As other states continue to get their gambling expansion swagger on to combat tough economic times, Maryland is still waiting for their super casino. After three years of going through the state’s slots program, the opportunity to build a casino in Baltimore managed to attract just one bidder — and that investor was shown the door after failing to make payments and meet deadlines.
It seemed like no one wanted to take a gamble on Baltimore. That is until now, as a group that includes a powerful mix of Baltimore entrepreneurs and big brand names came along with an application to build a 3,750 slot machine casino.
Headlined by Caesars Entertainment, the partnership includes NBA team owner Daniel Gilbert, Baltimore health care pioneer Michael Bronfein and former Rouse Co. executive Anthony Deering. The casino would certainly deliver a much needed shot in the arm to Maryland’s gambling expansion program. Currently, slots parlors have produced only minimal revenues for the state.
“It’s certainly good news for Maryland and Marylanders,” said James Karmel, a gaming analyst and a history professor at Harford Community College. “In the big picture, the Maryland delays aren’t that extraordinary when you consider the time it takes states in general to operate from the point of legislation to the point of opening.” – Baltimore Sun.
When you look at the way gaming operates, its clear to see that a big hurdle isn’t the delays or the legislation, in fact the state was able to pass gambling expansion legislation a lot faster than others.
The reason there was such a delay in the first place is because in tough economical times few investors would be willing to get bent over at the woodshed to the tune of state slot tax that ranges from 50 percent to 70 percent in the city of Baltimore, particularly in a state that has produced such mediocre revenue results.
In Baltimore, Caesars would manage the casino on behalf of the rest of the investors. Caesars already has a partnership with Gilbert’s Rock Gaming to develop casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati under its Horseshoe Brand.