Maryland Live! Casino draws large crowd, positive reviews

The casino has about 3,200 slot machines, with another 1,550 slot machines set to be added in a second phase between July and October.(Photo: ABC7)

The late-night opening didn’t stop crowds from checking out Maryland’s newest and largest casino.

A line of customers snaked around the building, all wanting to spend some money inside Maryland Live! Casino. Once inside, they were greeted by a red carpet before a date with lady luck.

“It didn't look this large and then you get in here and it explodes," a lady said. “It’s gorgeous.”

Packed with 3,200 brand new slot machines, the casino, which is attached to Anne Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover, officially opened for business at 10 p.m. Wednesday.{ }Officials hope{ }the $500 million facility will boost the Free State economy by $400 million a year.

“Even here at the mall too, it's going to bring in some revenue and it's going to be a good thing I think,”{ }an attendee said.

So far, Maryland Live! has employed 700 people in{ }and not just at the casino but also at new retail stores and entertainment venues.

Maryland residents say that’s a good thing, despite the negative stereotypes gambling can bring.

“A lot of people may think disagree but I think it's a good thing," another customer said.

If you don’t like to gamble, you can eat and watch, courtesy of the casino’s five restaurants that are set to open, including celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s Burger Place and the well-known Cheesecake Factory.

“Absolutely, if you can't find something to eat here you're not trying," said{ }Rudy Volpe, executive chef.{ }

In addition to the existing slots, another 1,550 machines are set to be added in a second phase between July and October.