Horseshoe Baltimore needs a ringer, and owner Caesars Entertainment is betting big that it’s found one in Maryland’s recent legalization of sports betting.
The casino, located in South Baltimore, announced yesterday that its first floor is undergoing a major renovation that will result in a completely new experience. Caesars said the ground floor will be transformed into an “immersive entertainment environment” featuring a sportsbook, a new restaurant and a sports bar, table games, and slot machines.
The under-construction Caesars Sportsbooks will be a focal point of the new casino entry. The sportsbook space will be adjacent to The Brew Brothers brewpub eatery, which will offer beers from four local Maryland breweries.
No sportsbook is complete without great food and drinks,” declared Randy Conroy, the senior VP and general manager of Horseshoe Baltimore. “As sports wagering is approved in Maryland, the addition of The Brew Brothers sports bar and restaurant will make the Horseshoe the best place in the region for guests to catch their favorite games.”
Maryland legalized sports betting by way of a successful ballot referendum passed by voters during the November 2020 election. A subsequent law authorizing such gambling was signed by Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in May. The Maryland Lottery Commission is currently reviewing applications from numerous entities seeking sportsbook rights.
Horseshoe Baltimore has disappointed its owners and investors nearly since it opened in August of 2014. The run-down area between Baltimore’s two professional sports venues — Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium — has resulted in sports fan opting not to make the short trek to the Caesars casino that is located between Russell and Warner streets.
Caesars announced last month that it acquired the stake of one of the property’s minority investors for an undisclosed sum. The news release was scant on details, as it didn’t even identify which minority partner was exiting.
Regardless, Caesars now holds a 76 percent ownership position in Horseshoe Baltimore. And the Las Vegas-based casino company continues to show its bullishness in reversing its Maryland casino’s fortunes.
Along with renovating Horseshoe Baltimore’s first floor, Caesars has spent considerably in recent months to buy vacant eyesores between the stadiums and casino. The goal is to create a more appealing pedestrian strip to the casino that is being dubbed the Warner Street District.
Caesars is behind numerous projects in the four-block area, including an outdoor Topgolf facility, a 4,000-seat concert venue called The Paramount, retail shopping, a transit hub, and an outdoor tailgating area.
Despite 2021 being a much better operating climate for most casinos compared with the pandemic-stricken 2020, Horseshoe Baltimore reported gross gaming revenue (GGR) declines in each of the first six months of the year. However, operations improved for Horseshoe Baltimore in July and August.
The Caesars gaming floor reported GGR of $19.34 million in July, 22.4 percent better than July 2020. The July 2021 win also nearly matched July 2019’s pre-pandemic GGR win of $19.38 million.
August resulted in a winning streak, as Horseshoe Baltimore won $18 million — a 7.2 percent increase on August 2020.
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