Live Casino & Hotel is constructing a large smoking patio that it says will distinguish it from its rivals by offering table games, slot machines and a bar, all in an outdoor space.
Smoking is barred inside Maryland’s six casinos. But the patio, called “Orchid,” will be open on one side, enabling Live to permit cigarette and cigar smoking.
The patio, expected to open in mid-April, is 8,500 square feet — about the size of two basketball courts side by side.
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, Live’s rival, has a number of smoking decks – small outdoor areas with slot machines. Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Western Maryland also has slots in an outdoor smoking deck.
Live, located in Hanover and adjacent to Arundel Mills mall, said its patio — in an area that was once a buffet — will be different.
“It’s a full casino experience on a patio, not just a couple of slot machines thrown on a patio,” said Rob Norton, Live’s president. “You’ll be able to play almost all the table games out here. You’ll have a full-service bar.”
The design will be orchid-themed.
“You’ll feel like you’re in an outdoor garden,” Norton said. The patio will feature a waterfall and humidors for premium cigars.
Maryland's casinos, like other establishments that serve alcohol, fall under the no-smoking provisions of the state's Clean Indoor Air Act.
Anti-smoking groups say permitting smoking in any casino area — even one partially outdoors — exposes workers to secondhand smoke.
But Norton said: “I think as adults we all have the ability to make reasonable decisions for ourselves. I’m personally not a smoker, but I don’t begrudge those that enjoy it.”
Live said the featured table games will include blackjack, baccarat and roulette.
Live, which has received permission for the patio from state regulators, generates more revenue than any state casino except MGM National Harbor. For all of 2017, Live generated $545 million in revenue, while MGM produced nearly $609 million.