BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The national spotlight is on Baltimore. As construction of the new Horseshoe Casino wraps up, plans have been set to bring a first to Maryland.
Marcus Washington has more on how poker fans across the world could soon head to Charm City.
People have been excited about a casino coming to Baltimore since it was announced more than a year ago.
"It would bring a lot of tourists to Baltimore and also job opportunities," said Angeline Givens.
Owners of the Horseshoe Casino promised to create more than 1,700 jobs. They now say many of those positions have been filled with residents of Baltimore.
"Why not stay here? Why not put the income back in Maryland? If you're going to gamble, gamble in state," said Rusty Teets.
Construction crews are hard at work on the $450 million casino. That's because vice president and associate general manager of Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, Alex Dixon, says they plan to open doors in late August.
"Crews are active on Russell Street, on Bayard, finishing up the exterior and we're well on the way with the placement of the slots," said Dixon.
Once the casino is open, Baltimore will play host city to one of the 21 circuit events, with two winners heading to the World Series of Poker.
"This gives us a great opportunity to not only showcase Baltimore City to people from around the world who travel for these circuit events, but to be able to bring something that's very unique for Maryland," Dixon said.
For the first time, a World Series of Poker event will be held in Maryland and anyone can compete.
"Everyone has a shot. Legends are made at the World Series of Poker," said Dixon.
"I might be tempted to go down here just to see the ambiance and what's going on in the city," said Teets.
"I wouldn't gamble or anything, but I would go see what it's all about," Givens said.
The actual opening date has not been released, but the casino promises it will happen on time. The circuit tour event is expected to bring thousands of poker players to the city.
The circuit tour of the World Series of Poker will stop in Baltimore for 13 days, running from Feb. 26 through March 9.
Other Local News:
for more features.