The Horseshoe Casino Baltimore has been steadily rising on Russell Street over the past year, and General Manager Chad Barnhill said Tuesday his team is wrapping up preparations for the late summer opening.
Construction is right on schedule, he said. In the next two weeks, the Horseshoe Casino signage will take its place on the building. Table games will begin to roll through the doors next month for installation.
“The renderings we shared a long time ago are actually coming to life,” said Barnhill. “We’re very happy to say that everything is coming together as planned.”
Here’s a few more facts that Barnhill shared about the upcoming casino:
1. It WILL open in August.
Barnhill said Tuesday that the casino team has set a grand opening date, although it is awaiting approval from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission to announce the specifics.
“It’s down to crunch time,” he said. “We’ve set our opening date we’re going to stick to that opening date.”
To make that happen, some trades have been working third shifts, he said. The second floor looks relatively complete, but the first floor is still missing some machines and its restaurant spaces are incomplete.
2. It will be staffed with up to 1,900 people.
The casino has extended more than 2,200 job offers, after sifting through about 31,000 applicants. About 50 percent of those offers went out to Baltimore residents, Barnhill said.
The casino is expecting some attrition from the 2,200 due to background checks, drug tests and other screening processes required in the gaming industry.
However, the number of jobs created may actually be has high as 1,900, instead of the 1,700 previously reported. That’s because more of the positions may be part-time, Barnhill said, because more applicants than expected are seeking part-time work, especially on the weekends.
3. It’s sports fan friendly.
The north end of the casino is a mere 358 feet from the M&T Bank Stadium entrance, said Noah Hirsch, vice president of marketing for Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, and the Horseshoe staff is looking to capitalize on that proximity.
The casino previously announced that it plans to sell the majority of its parking spaces to game-goers on Ravens game days. But parking in the 3,300-car garage will be free all other days, including Orioles game days.
Barnhill said that on game days he expects fans to stop at the casino before and after, and not just for gambling.
“That outdoor entertainment plaza really lends itself to a great opportunity for tailgate parties,” he said. “I think we’ll peak the peaks with the Ravens games.”
It may even help to disseminate some of the traffic before and after games, he said, by encouraging people to come to the city early and stay late.
4. Horseshoe is ready to compete with Live.
Barnhill wouldn’t say exactly what Horseshoe is expecting for visitor volume. But he did say his team is hoping to take some business from its southern neighbor.
Maryland Live has dominated the casino market, snatching as much as 80 percent of state’s monthly casino revenue in recent months.
“I don’t think we can both expect to do $60 million a month, but I think there’s a certain amount of business that they have right now that we would obviously hope to have,” said Barnhill. “Both of us want to see the market grow.”