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Baltimore lawmaker says city casino can compete with Maryland Live!

At the glitzy opening of the Maryland Live! casino at Arundel Mills, a Baltimore legislator said a future city casino would be able to compete with Hanover’s mega-facility.

Del. Keith E. Haynes said Maryland Live! — about 11 miles south of a facility that could be built on Russell Street near M&T Bank Stadium — should serve as encouragement for a future licensee to build a casino in Baltimore of the highest quality.

CBAC Gaming LLC — a group led by Caesars Entertainment Corp. — could be granted a slots license by the state’s Video Lottery Terminal Location Commission this month. The group wants to build a Harrah’s Casino with 3,750 slot machines.

If Caesars wins, Haynes said they don’t have to look far to see the new standard set by the casino at Arundel Mills mall, which doubled the number of slot machines in the state when it opened Wednesday.

“We’re anxiously waiting to get up,” he said. “We were looking at the higher end” of casinos even before The Cordish Cos.‘ facility opened.

Haynes said he was still unsure about voting for legislation that could allow the state’s sixth casino to be built at National Harbor in Prince George’s County. He said members of the city delegation were anxiously waiting for the recommendation of a work group that is studying what impact the casino — coupled with the legalization of tables games — would have on other state facilities.

“There was a concern, I think, in the delegation, because we’re not up and running,” he said. “We are waiting to see. This time around, what you have is another level of knowledge. I think that will be helpful.”

Haynes said a Baltimore casino would probably do well regardless, because it would be located in a “large, vibrant city” with year-round professional sports and the Inner Harbor giving casino-goers quick options they don’t have at Arundel Mills and wouldn’t have at National Harbor.