Caesars Entertainment Corp. is sitting in proverbial catbird’s seat when it comes to the November gaming referendum over casino expansion in Maryland.
The company, in partnership with Rock Gaming, controls the license for a casino that would be built in Baltimore near the city’s two stadiums that house Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles and the National Football League’s Baltimore Ravens.
In August, Caesars announced plans to build the $300 million Harrah’s Baltimore, which would house 3,750 slot machine-like video lottery terminals.
Caesars has contributed more than $1 million toward passage of the referendum that would allow the state to add a sixth casino in suburban Prince George’s County, roughly an hour’s drive south.
While a $700 million casino complex, potentially operated by MGM Resorts International, would give Caesars added competition, the company would gain benefits from the referendum’s passage.
In addition to the casino, Question 7 would allow existing slot machine-only casinos and gaming license holders to offer table games. The measure would also lower the gaming tax rate, currently an industry-high 67 percent.
“We benefit whether the question passes or loses,” Caesars Chairman Gary Loveman told investors and analysts earlier this week.
If the bill passes, the project would be renamed Horseshoe Baltimore, which is a company brand that promotes table game play. Caesars is using the Horseshoe brand with its casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati.