Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Maryland Joins the Fun

Late last night / early this morning, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation that will pave the way for live poker within the state. 

Currently, Maryland has approved five casinos.  Several are up and running as slot parlors, including the recently opened Maryland Live, located by BWI Airport, between Baltimore and DC.  In addition, Harrah's has apparently been given the green light to build a casino in downtown Baltimore.  The new legislation would allow another casino to be built in Prince George's County, Maryland -- the outskirts of the District.  Two proposals are rumored -- a casino at the existing Rosecroft Raceway, owned by Penn National, or a destination resort to be built by MGM Mirage at National Harbor.  The MGM project seems to be favored by local politicians.  The legislation would also permit table games at all Maryland casinos, including, of course, poker (the current bill also would prohibit Internet gambling. Booooooo). 

Unfortunately, the current legislation simply puts the initiative up for referendum this November.  Accordingly, nothing will change unless Maryland voters approve the bill.  Assuming it passes, word is that tables may be up and running as soon as the end of the year. 

The Poker Barrister could not be happier.  Well, I probably could.  But, in any event, Pete Peters is pretty damn happy about all this. 

First, poker at Maryland Live, potentially by year's end.  Poker less than 30 minutes away.  While Maryland Live is certainly not a "destination casino," from the pictures I've seen, it looks nice.  Decent layout . . . modern . . . tolerable restaurants.  I'll take it.

Second, a Harrah's in Baltimore.  Goodbye AC . . .  see ya Delaware Park . . . Charles Town who?  It's been nice knowing you all.  The thought of racking up sweet, sweet tier credits and grinding NL a mere 40 minutes away is, how you say?  Muy bueno!!!  Baseball at the Yard followed by poker a short walk past the stadium gates?!?!?  Sounds perfect.

Well, nearly perfect.  Perfect might be option Three -- an MGM Resort at National Harbor.  National Harbor is currently a mixed development project on the shores of the Potomac, just outside DC. http://nationalharbor.com/.   Restaurants, hotels, condos, shopping, entertainment.  Add an MGM Mega Resort, and I may never leave the area.  Hell, I may move there.  Think I'm kidding?    http://www.onenationalharbor.com/   A waterfront condo, twenty minute drive to work, and 500 yard walk to MGM @ National Harbor?  True enough, the Poker Barrister may be getting old and bitter, but Pete P Peters still has dreams . . .

The losers in all this, of course, will be Charles Town and Delaware Park.  Charles Town would all but certainly lose most of its customer base.  It will be dominated by locals . . . and those locals ain't gonna keep that ship running.  The brand new second poker room will likely be empty.  And, Del Park will suffer a similar fate.  Surrounded by poker twenty minutes north in Philly (Parx, Harrah's Chester, etc.) and thirty minutes south in Baltimore, it's hard to see people making the trip to Del Park.

But, for now, business marches on as normal.  God knows what Maryland voters will do.  Given some of the comments posted in response to the recent news stories on the subject, you'd think the State was legalizing prostitution and giving out free coupons to anyone caught littering or slaughtering a puppy.  Truth be told, Pete Peters has not voted since he moved to the DC area well over a decade ago.  Why bother?  What's the point?  Well, Pete might finally have the motivation to register this time around.



  1. It is rumored that Ctown will be upping their rake and bad beat drop by $2, fwiw. I can't wait to dump ctown as my home casino... I have a strong dislike of them...

  2. Yeah. No matter how hard I try, I just can't make myself like the Chuck. If this passes, hopefully Maryland Live will be the new home for DC-area poker by the end of the year.

  3. By the way, it's hard to believe Charles Town would be sooo stupid. But, I guess you never know.

  4. Can't believe I just stumbled upon your blog today. Great stuff!

    My site (http://mdpokerconnection.com) is dedicated to Maryland poker news/info/home games but only about a month old thus far and I'm looking for more MD players to add to my blogroll. Feel free to send any suggestions my way - mdpokerconnection@gmail.com.

    Hope to see you at a MD $1/2 table in a few months.


  5. Pete - where do you live in Maryland? I'm in the Rockville / Potomac area.

  6. Same. Rockville, by Grovsnor metro

  7. Ultimately, I think that the drive to National Harbor and/or Baltimore will be roughly equal to the drive to Ctown. I'm assuming there will be parking fees in both of those places, downgrading the plus of getting away from Ctown, though, in the end, it will get me away from the dreaded Ctown.

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