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Horseshoe Casino rising off Russell Street

Horseshoe Casino rising off Russell Street

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The progress on Baltimore’s newest casino was on display for the public Wednesday as construction workers continue to build the steel and concrete skeleton of the $442 million facility.

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The Horseshoe Casino Baltimore will have 2,500 slot machines, 100 table games and a 25-table poker room.

Showing off both levels of the open frame of the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, officials with Towson-based general contractor Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. and owner Caesars Entertainment Corp. discussed the evolution of the gaming parlor from vacant lot to plush destination.

“We have made great progress in construction over the past 30-45 days,” said casino General Manager Chad Barnhill, pointing to concrete beams, framed in steel with large stairwells on each corner.

The Horseshoe Casino Baltimore is expected to open by the third quarter of 2014, Barnhill said, but could open earlier if work during the upcoming months is not hindered by poor weather. Since ground was broken May 29, workers have been at it during 12-hour shifts, six days a week to erect the frames for the casino and its garage, located off Russell Street near M&T Bank Stadium.

“The winter months will determine if we can slow down or speed up,” Barnhill said. “Right now, we are on schedule.”

The casino will have 2,500 slot machines, 100 table games and a 25-table poker room.

Site preparation began six months ago for the 122,000-square-foot gaming floor, surrounded by restaurants and entertainment space, and a separate 3,500-car garage.

“When you can see the site being built, it’s exciting,” Barnhill said. “We have the renderings of the building, and you can see them coming to life now.”

Barnhill said he was not concerned about competition from Maryland Live Casino, about 10 miles away at Arundel Mills mall, or potential competition from a new mega casino and resort to be built at National Harbor.

“We believe we’ll assist in growing the market,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll grow the market where everybody is successful.”

There will be 1,700 new jobs at the Horseshoe, he added, and many, such as executive casino positions, are being filled now. A second round of postings for card dealers, slots attendants, valet parking attendants and food and beverage workers will post soon.

Barnhill said a dealer’s academy will shortly be set up, likely in a warehouse on nearby Ostend Street, to train employees for the table games.

Of the other jobs available, he said the only qualifications are “a great attitude, a smile and an understanding of the level of customer service we’re going to provide our guests.”

Barnhill declined to discuss a spate of lawsuits filed against the casino based on environmental concerns by nearby residents and a city environmental nonprofit organization.

“We don’t comment on current litigation,” he said.

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