It’s finally been confirmed that Cleveland Cavaliers owner and Quicken Loans founder, Dan Gilbert, has planned to expand his casino empire east of Detroit into Maryland. Verified by Gilbert’s Rock Gaming LLC COO, Matt Cullen, Gilbert submitted paperwork last autumn with a $22.5 million application fee to build a $310 million casino in South Baltimore.
Gilbert is no doubt pretty confident about the deal, as a report by Crain’s Detroit Business suggests no other group has filed an application for the city’s available casino licence, in which Maryland’s state slots panel is expected to decide on by April.
If it does go ahead, the slot facility is planned to open in the latter half of 2013 with 110,000 square feet of gambling space, 3,750 slot machines, a steakhouse, buffet, a food court and retail space.
However, due to Maryland’s current gambling laws, there will be no table gambling in the casino.
According to online reports, Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corp – which has a 20% ownership stake in Gilbert’s Cleveland and Cincinnati casino developments – will be operating the Baltimore gambling house under Caesars’ Harrah’s unit.
Gaming analyst with East Lansing-based Regulatory Management Counselors PC, Robert Russell, said: “He’s clearly taken his business prowess and expanded into the entertainment industry through his basketball franchise and to a natural, logical fit with the casino gaming industry. He’s approaching the industry from the right direction.
Other investors in the Baltimore deal include Maryland consortium CVPR Gaming Holdings LLC and The Stronach Group, which owns the Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course horse tracks in the state.