By Steve Beauregard
Thanks to voter-approved initiatives passed in 2008 and 2012, the state of Maryland has six casinos.
Two of these are in the Baltimore area. One is in town, while the other is 14 miles south in Hanover.
By far the closest casino for most Baltimore residents and visitors is the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore on Russell Street, just ¼ mile south of M&T Bank Stadium.
The Horseshoe Baltimore Casino
(Here’s a map showing you the Horseshoe Baltimore (Purple Star), and Maryland Live! (Black Star)
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore MD
Opened in 2014, the Horseshoe Casino is the only casino in Baltimore.
The two-story casino, with over 100,000 square feet of casino space, has 2,200 gaming machines.
These are video lottery terminals (or VLTs), which look similar to traditional slots and which have denominations ranging in denominations from one penny to (gulp) $500 per spin. Of the 2,200 gaming machines, 150 are video poker machines.
On the table game side, you’ll find 153 here. These range from the usual suspects like roulette and blackjack (if you consider 6:5 to be blackjack) to Mississippi Stud and Pai Gow Poker.
Horseshoe’s craps tables offer the very unusual (and player friendly) 100x odds bet.
The Horseshoe’s 25 table poker room has daily tournaments and WSOP satellites. In addition, there’s an off-track betting parlor for wagering on the ponies.
The Horseshoe doesn’t have a hotel attached, but there several dining options inside.
Including the food court, (more upscale and appealing than your typical Subway/Taco Bell type food court), there are nine different restaurants at the Horseshoe, including a Jack Binion steakhouse and two different Guy Fieri restaurants.
Parking at the Horseshoe Baltimore Casino
Self-Parking is always free for Total Rewards card holders at the Platinum, Diamond, and Seven Star levels.
If you’re at Gold level, or do not have a Total Rewards card, you’ll have to pay $40 when the Ravens are at home, and when there are other events at M&T Bank Stadium.
Address and Phone
1525 Russell Street
Baltimore, MD. 21230
Live! Casino is the largest casino in Maryland
Live! Casino & Hotel
The second busiest casino in the state (after MGM National Harbor), Live! is also the second closest casino to Baltimore.
It holds the distinction of being the largest casino in Maryland.
In fact, with 160,000 square feet of casino floor space, Live! is is one of the largest casinos in the United States and bigger than many of the resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.
As such, you’ll find 4,000 slot machines/video poker machines and 200 table games at Live!
The 15,000 square foot 52 table poker room is by far the largest in the state and hosts World Poker Tour stops.
On the downside, it’s a little further away from central Baltimore than the Horseshoe.
Located 17 miles southwest of downtown, next to the massive Arundel Mills shopping complex, Google maps estimates it’s a 22 to 30 minute drive most times, with that going up to a 50 minute drive on Friday afternoons.
Live! originally opened in June of 2012 as “Maryland Live!”
The new $200 million dollar addition to Live! includes a 17 story hotel tower with 310 rooms, a 1,500 person event center, a spa, a Todd English restaurant, shops and 1,000 more parking spaces.
There are ten restaurants at Live!, including a buffet, a Bobby Flay burger joint, and a Cheesecake Factory.
Self-parking at Live! is free at the resort’s 7-story parking garage. Valet parking is $20 if you don’t have a player’s card, $5 if you’re at Classic, Gold, or Platinum Live! level, and free for Black Card and Chairman’s Club Live! members.
Address and Phone Number
7002 Arundel Mills Circle
Hanover, MD. 21076
Other Casinos Near Baltimore
There are other Maryland casinos, along with some in surrounding states that are reasonably close to Baltimore.
Most prominent of these is the shinning new MGM National Harbor, which is 44 miles to the south, which equates to almost always an hour-plus drive.
The $1.4 billion hotel/casino – just 10 miles from Washington D.C. – opened in December of 2016, and has quickly become the most successful casino in Maryland, (in terms of monthly gaming revenue).
Here are the other closest casinos to Baltimore, in order of proximity to downtown:
Hollywood Casino Perryville – 43 miles to the northeast
Casino at Delaware Park – 70 miles northeast
Harrah’s Philadelphia (The closest Philadelphia casino) – 88 miles northeast
Rocky Gap Casino Resort – 129 miles to the west
Casino at Ocean Downs, Maryland – 142 miles southeast
These casinos aren’t covered here as they are all (with the exception of Hollywood Casino Perryville at times), an hour or more drive away.
In addition, we’re not covering the Atlantic City casinos here as they are 150-plus miles away with well over a two and 1/2 hour drive.
(Photos courtesy of Caesars Entertainment and A. Bailey via Wikipedia).