By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After years of effort, Baltimore City is finally getting a slots casino. The commission in charge of awarding licenses has approved the bid by Caesar’s Entertainment to run more than 3,700 slot machines. Political reporter Pat Warren reports it’s still a work in progress.

A walking tour of the slots site on Russell Street in Baltimore last November helped convince Caesar’s Entertainment that a casino could thrive here.

Tuesday, Caesar’s Entertainment was awarded the license to operate 3,750 machines in what will be Harrah’s Baltimore.

Maryland currently authorizes five slots locations. The first to open was in Perryville. Then Ocean Downs and the largest at Arundel Mills. The Baltimore City location and Rocky Gap are in the planning stages.

“We’re excited about being one, awarded the license and, two, coming to Baltimore City. We think we’re going to bring a lot of jobs, a lot of investment. It’s good for us, it’s good for the city,” said Trevor Busche.

And good timing. The state’s largest casino, Maryland Live opened last month at Arundel Mills with slots only. But there’s a good chance the General Assembly will approve an expansion to table games in a special session on gambling next week.

“We think that would be great for the facility and great for Baltimore and we’d adjust our plans accordingly,” Busche said.

Harrah’s Baltimore is expected to bring in 1,200 full-time jobs and generate $400 million in its first year. Additional changes to the slots program may be added after the General Assembly meets in special session next week.

Harrah’s Baltimore is expected to open in 2014.


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