Long lines of gamblers jostled for position on August 26 to be the first to glimpse Maryland’s fifth casino, as the 2 million Horseshoe Casino Baltimore staged a star-studded grand opening celebration.
The opening night festivities began with a special gathering for dignitaries in the casino’s outdoor entertainment plaza and included remarks from Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. There were vertical dance performances by Bandaloop, pyrotechnics and music.
O’Malley and other dignitaries gathered outdoors to pull a giant slot machine handle to launch fireworks and unfurl banners depicting major events in Baltimore history.
“Baltimore. It’s your lucky day,” each of the five banners read.
Horseshoe Baltimore’s 122,000-square-foot gaming floor includes more than 2,500 slots, 100 table games, a World Series of Poker poker room and a variety of nightlife options. More than half of the 1,700 employees of Horseshoe are from the greater Baltimore area. “In order for this to really work, Baltimore city residents have to benefit by getting these jobs,” said Rawlings-Blake at the opening news conference.