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A little ‘research’ at Maryland Live!

I didn’t get to check out Opening Night at Maryland Live! because I was putting the paper out, so since I took a vacation day today, I decided to head over.

The traffic coming off of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and entering Arundel Mills wasn’t too bad. The self-parking garage will feel familiar to anyone who has visited Atlantic City.

First impression? The place is huge. And remember, it’s only about two-thirds complete.

There were lines to get into Bobby’s Burger Palace and the Cheesecake Factory. (I did get there just about lunch time.) There were plenty of slot machines available, but if you wanted to play at one of the electronic table games, you might have faced a little wait.

I’m a blackjack and Let It Ride guy, so in the interest of “research,” I played $50. After about six hands of Let It Ride (for the uninitiated, it’s a poker game), I was up about $30, and after about six more, I was down exactly $20. That was enough, so I pushed the “cash out” button and got my $30 voucher.

Here’s where the casino folks need some help. More than half of the payout machines weren’t working (actually, it seemed more like three-quarters), so there were long lines … and more than a little grumbling. It took about 10 to 15 minutes to get my money. Not horrible, but not very good, either.

I haven’t been to the Casino at Ocean Downs, but I have been to Hollywood Casino Perryville, and this facility is much nicer. Perryville feels a little like a barn. Maryland Live feels like a Vegas casino. Maybe not Mandalay Bay, but not the Imperial Palace, either.

I’ll be back.

Oh, and boss, the $20 I lost qualifies as “research,” doesn’t it?