Casino consortium doubling down on Baltimore investment

In Maryland, the consortium behind the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore has reportedly spent at least $8 million over recent months to purchase properties around the venue in hopes of helping to transform the gritty area into a thriving entertainments district.

According to a Saturday report from The Baltimore Sun newspaper, the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore is owned by CBAC Gaming, in which Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corporation is the lead investor, and has seen business on its 122,000 sq ft gaming floor dramatically decline since the opening of the nearby MGM National Harbor development.

The newspaper reported that last year saw overall revenues at the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, in which Detroit-headquartered Jack Entertainment also holds a significant stake, decrease by 16% year-on-year while takings from the venue’s gaming tables dropped by a massive 22%. Much of this deterioration is purportedly due to the late-2016 opening by rival operator MGM Resorts International of the $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor property only 45 miles away in the more rural Prince George’s County.

Not content to surrender its once leading position in Maryland’s casino market easily, CBAC Gaming has reportedly spent $4.8 million to acquire a former warehouse between the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore and the nearby 71,000-seat M&T Bank Stadium before subsequently buying a nearby office building for a further $3.2 million.

The Baltimore Sun reported that CBAC Gaming moreover now holds options on a pair of nearby municipality-owned parking lots and declared that it wants to help turn the area around the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore into the city’s ‘next great entertainment district’ complete with new restaurants and other leisure facilities.

“We expected [MGM] National Harbor would have an impact and it has,” Erin Chamberlin, General Manager for the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, reportedly told the newspaper. “We have short and long-term plans to grow our business.”

The Baltimore Sun reported that Las Vegas-based CBAC Gaming hopes to one day see the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore serve as the 7BALL southern anchor of an entertainment corridor that encompasses M&T Bank Stadium and the nearby Oriole Park At Camden Yards baseball complex before finishing in the Inner Harbor area of downtown Baltimore.

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William Cole, President for the City of Baltimore Development Corporation, reportedly detailed that he ‘sees this as an area with great potential’ that will be helped by the long-awaited opening next year in the district of the latest iteration of the Hammerjacks club and concert hall. The newspaper explained that another group purportedly has plans to bring a high-tech golf driving range to the neighborhood.

“You’d like to be able to have a seamless pedestrian experience so they can walk from downtown [or from] any of the hotels or from the convention center,” Cole reportedly told The Baltimore Sun. “Imagine a walk where it’s vibrant from one end to the other. Now, you hit spots where there’s just not any activity.”