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First Casino Opens in Maryland is a Crowd Pleaser - CompatiblePoker

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Written by Renee K | Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Maryland saw the opening of its first casino this week, with visitors flocking to the Hollywood Casino in Perryville to get their first taste of legalized gambling entertainment. Maryland has been traditionally a no-gamble state, and it was only two years ago – after decades of efforts – that residents voted ‘yes’ to the introduction of the first slot machine in a casino environment.

The Hollywood Casino opened its doors ahead of schedule, surprising gambling fans – but not enough to keep away literally thousands who came to take their first look at Maryland’s casino. The doors opened at exactly 8 am on Monday morning, three days ahead of the planned grand opening.

The casino underwent several trial runs before the official opening, the last one held Saturday to benefit local charities. After these successful trials, the casino proved to the state that it was capable of running ‘live’ and was thus awarded an operating license on Sunday.

Hollywood Casino boasts 1,500 slot machines in video screen style, although many have been designed to resemble ‘old-style’ machines to invoke nostalgia. There are also several electronic table games, including three-card poker, blackjack and roulette, although they are devoid of the true paraphernalia such as wheels and chips.

The Hollywood Casino is run by Penn National gaming group, and its décor follows the company’s traditional art deco style. A buffet style restaurant and a gift shop round off the amenities provided to customers.

After opening on Monday, the casino floor reached 90% capacity – a fact which pleased management, especially since advertising and marketing was geared towards a Thursday opening.

“Word travels fast around here,” said a spokesman for the casino, Marc DeLeo.

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