Watch dealer's sleight of hand in Question 7 ad

For the record, my fellow Marylanders:

Two months ago, the state's slots commission awarded a license to a group led by Caesars Entertainment to build and operate a "world-class casino" on the vacant parcel off Russell Street.

The group, CBAC Gaming, is licensed for 3,750 slot machines. It will operate under the name Harrah's Baltimore. The place is supposed to open in 2014. It's a $375 million investment.

In a recent City Hall briefing, Caesar's Entertainment President John Payne said the casino will be much bigger if Question 7 passes in the Nov. 6 referendum. The group will invest another $25 million, and add 500 jobs on top of the 1,200 already promised. There will be more restaurants, a room for World Series of Poker competitions, and an entertainment venue seating more than 500 people.

So, that must explain Barnhill's reference in the ad to a $25 million investment and 500 jobs if Question 7 passes.

Fine.

Except that if you weren't hip to all this and to what has already transpired, you'd have watched the Barnhill commercial and concluded that Caesar's won't even build the casino unless a majority of us vote for Question 7.

Not the case.

That was dealer's sleight-of-hand, friends, suggesting that there's more at stake on Election Day than we think. There's going to be a Harrah's in Baltimore, no matter how we vote.

dan.rodricks@baltsun.com

 
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