Four African Americans are among the investors in a casino set to open in 2014 in Baltimore City, officials said.

The $310 million project will be constructed by CBAC Gaming LLC, a development group backed by Caesars Entertainment, Detroit-based Rock Gaming and four Black investors from PRT TWO–former IT executive Maria Beckett, investor Eddie C. Brown, financial executive Cecil Flamer and financial consultant James Scott Jr.

The Black investors are members of the Presidents’ Round Table, an organization committed to accelerating the growth of minority businesses. They are expected to ensure that Harrah’s Baltimore Casino will benefit minority businesses in the area. The casino is expected to be a huge boost to the city’s economy.

“There will be plenty of minority opportunities,” said Maria Beckett, president of the Round Table. “As local partners, we will be ensuring Caesar has visibility to minority businesses and they have an opportunity for contract work.”

The casino was granted a license on July 31 by the State of Maryland Video Lottery Facility Location Commission to operate a video terminal in Baltimore City. Harrah’s Baltimore will include 110,000 square feet on two levels. It is planned to include 3,750 video lottery terminals, or VLTs, along with an array of fine and casual restaurants and other amenities.

“With Harrah’s Baltimore, we look forward to creating an entertainment experience that is unique to the region and will attract customers throughout the nation to Charm City,” said Gary Loveman, Caesars Entertainment chairman and CEO, in a news release.

The Harrah’s facility will create an estimated 1,200 full-time jobs and an additional 500 would be added if Baltimore City is approved for table-top games. A special session pushed by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was scheduled for Aug. 9 to determine if table-top games will be included and if a casino proposed by MGM Resorts International will be built in Prince George’s County at National Harbor.

The Baltimore casino is expected to generate more than $400 million in gross VLT revenue in its first full year of operation, officials said.

“Having the Harrah’s name will bring folks to the area,” said Beckett. “People will travel for the name. It will also bring additional revenue into the city with lottery tax, payroll tax and construction.”

Harrah’s would be Maryland’s second largest casino. The largest is Maryland Live! at Arundel Mills mall in Anne Arundel County.


Krishana Davis

AFRO Staff Writers