Cordish: Arundel's Maryland Live! on track for 2012
Before discussing Maryland's two unawarded slots projects, the state Video Lottery Terminal Location Commission received assurances this week from the Cordish Cos. that its casino at Arundel Mills Mall will be open in roughly one year.
With 4,750 terminals, it will be the largest of the five slots facilities in the state. Cordish expects to open the site in June 2012 with 3,000 machines -- double the number at what is now the state's largest parlor, Hollywood Casino in Perryville. The other slots site, at Ocean Downs race track on the Eastern Shore, has 750 machines. The state is seeking proposals on projects in Baltimore and Rocky Gap.
Joseph Weinberg, president of development at Cordish, told the slots panel that the company decided to "condense" the construction timetable by scrapping plans for a temporary site and working full-steam on the permanent structure. "There is a pretty good chance," he said, that all 4,750 machines will be up and running by October 2012.
The size of the parlor will undoubtedly provide a boost to state finances; the state gets a 67 percent cut of all slots revenue. Cordish first detailed its new plans in May, which will cost the state more than $100 million in lost profits from the temporary facility. The change in plans came after Cordish fended off time-consuming legal challenges filed by area homeowners working with the Maryland Jockey Club, which had sought to pry away the county's only slots license.
The casino has continued to be a sore spot for area residents, as The Sun's Nicole Fuller detailed in a story May 24. Some complained that construction parking has limited access to Joe Cannon Stadium and its surrounding park.
On Monday, Weinberg walked the slots commission through the basics of the $1 billion casino and entertainment complex: It will be on the ground floor of a structure that also contains six levels of above-ground parking.
A recent visit to the site shows construction is indeed underway, with a large swath of the mall parking lot -- roughly from Burlington Coat Factory to the movie theater -- cordoned off.