Reporting Meghan McCorkell
HANOVER, Md. (WJZ) — The lights are on and the doors are open forever. Maryland Live! goes 24 hours and soon table games will join the mix.
Meghan McCorkell has more.
Casino officials said they expect to increase their business by 10 percent by staying open overnight and that means more jobs and more tax money for the state.
Gamblers can now press their luck around the clock at Maryland Live!
The locks at the casino opened for good at 8 a.m. Thursday.
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission approved the move. Customers WJZ spoke with approve, too.
“People have different schedules. Everybody doesn’t work a standard 9-to-5 or 8-to-6. Some people have graveyard shifts, or what have you. So staying open real late, it will be good,” said Gaithersburg resident Paul Rivers.
Casino officials say the demand for overnight hours has been high.
“According to the people here, the say that they have a hard time getting the crowd out of here at closing,” said Tom Hudson, an Edgemere resident.
“Every night we typically have to ask about 300 to 500 guests to leave. Now they’ll be able to continue their entertainment experience and we expect a 10 percent growth in revenue. And, as we all know, the state gets about 67 percent of that,” said Robert Norton, Maryland Live! General Manager.
The bars and Phillips Seafood will also stay open 24 hours.
Along with Maryland Live! the casino at Ocean Downs and Hollywood Casino at Perryville will stay open overnight on weekends and keep limited hours weekdays. The 24-hour operation means 150 new jobs at Maryland Live!
“So those positions go into effect tonight as we roll over at 2 a.m. when we normally close. We now have to stay fully staffed for our customers that will be here,” said Norton.
Starting this spring, 150 live table games will be added to the casino and that means even more jobs.
“Dealer school actually starts next week, and we’re looking to hire an additional 800 people just for table games,” said Mario Maesano, the casino’s marketing director.
It’s a stroke of luck for job seekers as the casino expands.
Before now, Maryland Live! closed its doors at 2 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends.
It was voters’ approval of Question 7 in November that allowed overnight operations at the casinos.