Maryland Residents Enjoying 24-Hour Gambling Starting This Weekend

Just a few years ago, casino gambling in Maryland did not even exist. Yesterday, the states gamblers came full circle when they were permitted to stay at the Maryland Live! Casino throughout the night and into the early morning.

For the first time ever, casinos were allowed to keep their doors open round-the-clock. It was an experience that many gamblers have been waiting for, especially those who are part of the late-night crowd that had to constantly break up their visits early.

“I work in a nearby restaurant, and sometimes I couldn’t even get here until 1 in the morning,” said Claire Treasey. “Then, the casino would close at 2, and we would have nothing left to do. I like to unwind after work by playing a few slots, so the new times will really make a difference for me.”

Officials in the state are expecting that the 24-hour gambling will make a difference in the tax revenue from slots as well. The state is projecting a 10 percent increase in revenue with the expanded hours.

It is not only the gamblers that wee excited on Friday about the new time regulations, but also the late-night drinkers. The bars in the casino will be serving drinks all day and night, although some warn that this could become a problem.

“Allowing people to go to a place and drink and never have to stop is dangerous,” said Sharron Wielder, a patron at Maryland Live! who was playing slots early Friday morning. “The potential for drinking and driving goes up dramatically. I just hope the casino has some safeguards against excessive drinking.”

Maryland has burst on to the casino gambling scene over the past five years, and voters have continually expanded the industry. The latest example comes from the November election, when over 50 percent of voters approved the 24-hour gambling at all state casinos.

While the gambling increases, Maryland is also well aware of potential gambling addiction problems. Maryland regulators have been praised by regulators in other states for their approach to the prevention and treatment of problem gambling.

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