Gambling grows

The gambling industry upped the ante in Maryland this year, pulling in a lot more money -- thanks partly to the launch of table games and a new casino -- and battling to open the state's sixth gaming location.

Maryland casinos brought in $684 million this year through November, double the amount of the first 11 months of last year. About a fifth of that haul came from table games, added earlier this year after being approved by state voters.

The lion's share of this year's take -- about $533 million -- was pulled in at Maryland Live Casino in Hanover, the location opened by The Cordish Cos. halfway through 2012. It runs 174 of the state's 209 table games and nearly two-thirds of the state's 6,844 slot machines.

For now, that casino's in-state rivals are all outside the Baltimore-Washington corridor. Gaming sites are up and running near Ocean City, in Cecil County's Perryville community and in Western Maryland, where Rocky Gap Casino Resort -- the newest location -- opened in May. But closer competitors are coming.

The under-construction Horseshoe Casino Baltimore is slated to open next year. And a sixth location is on tap to be built in Prince George's County.

A state site-selection commission picked a winning developer for the newest casino. MGM Resorts International's proposed $925 million complex overlooking the Potomac River at National Harbor won the state license. The other bidders were Greenwood Racing, which planned a $761 million casino off Indian Head Highway; and Penn National Gaming, which asked to build a $700 million casino at its nearby Rosecroft Raceway.

—Jamie Smith Hopkins

Kevin Richardson, Baltimore Sun
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