In November, voters in Maryland said "yes" to allow existing casinos in the state to offer table games with human dealers. The biggest casino in the state has now announced those table games will begin on April 11.
Managers at the Maryland Live! Casino in Anne Arundel County are removing about ten percent of the slot machines to make room for table games with human dealers.
William Ward, a food service handler from Seat Pleasant, who was playing an electronic slot machine Tuesday afternoon applauded the move toward human dealers: "Most people don't like to play the automatic [machines], and they like the dealers … It'll be a good thing."
Ward predicted he would come to the casino more often.
Rick Tomaszewski, a resident of Severn, Md., agreed: "The personal touch is what does it. Face-to-face contact with the dealers and people. It's very nice."
Even after removal of some of the slots, there will still be 4,300 electronic machines here to keep the current customers happy. Managers are betting millions that table games will bring in new gambling customers. The general manager of the casino, Robert Norton, predicted, "We would expect 20 to 25 percent lifts in customer volumes from table games opening."
Maryland Live! is in the process of doubling its casino work force of 1,200 to 2,400 employees, and as of this week, they are still hiring.
On or about April 9, the table games will open to the public for (what are called) "controlled demonstrations." Maryland gaming authorities will observe. If the demonstration gaming passes all of their tests, full-time table gaming will begin at one minute after midnight on Thursday, April 11.