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Empty Russell Street Lot In Downtown Baltimore Will Soon Become Harrah's Casino

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—In just a few months, crews will break ground on what's to become a Harrah's casino in downtown Baltimore.

Monique Griego was there as project leaders laid out their plans for slots and possibly table games.

Baltimore, get ready because soon an empty lot off Russell and Worcester streets in downtown Baltimore will be transformed into a world-class Harrah's casino.

"It's going to add more people to come as tourists because Baltimore is upcoming," said Mike Beauford, resident.

City and state leaders also touted the economic benefits as the casino's general manager was introduced.

"To be able to keep the state of Maryland monies in Maryland is our goal," said Chad Barnhill, Harrah's general manager.

Construction is set to start in mid-2013 and the casino is expected to open in mid-2014.

And with it will come several thousand slots and employment opportunities.

Two thousand workers will be needed for construction.

The casino itself will have 1,200 permanent positions and an additional 500 jobs will be added if expanded gambling is passed by voters in November.

And the issue was hotly debated this summer.

"Not all table games customers play slots. Not all slots customers play table games. We'll be able to bring in additional tourism to the city," Barnhill said.

But there are some people who have concerns over the location of the casino and what it will mean for congestion in the area considering it's so close to both stadiums.

"You're going to clutter it up with 3,000 more people a night. It's just going to be a mess," Harry Kunzy, resident.

"Trying to get in and out at different times is a real problem," said Debbie Connell, resident.

Project leaders say they are looking at ways to alleviate traffic and feel confident people won't be disappointed.

The Towson-based Whiting-Turner Contracting Company has been picked to build Baltimore's casino, a more than $300 million project.

The casino's website is already up and running. There you can find employment information.  Click here for more.

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