Recently, the Cordish Companies announced that it would begin construction on what will be the tallest building in Anne Arundel County and the largest investment at Maryland Live! Casino since it opened in June 2012.

Expecting stiff competition from MGM’s casino in Prince George’s County, in an effort to retain its market share the state’s leading casino operator is investing $200 million to expand its operations. Maryland Live’s expansion plans include the addition of a 310-room, 17-storey hotel, and conference center, as well as a 1,500-seat event center, day spa, and new dining options. With groundbreaking on the hotel tower scheduled for this fall, the real estate developer based out of Baltimore hopes that by the end of 2017 the 350,000-square foot resort hotel addition to the casino will be completed.

Anticipating increased traffic, Cordish Global Gaming Group’s president Rob Norton said there are also plans for widening the streets around the mall and adding approximately 1,000 parking spaces. According to the Baltimore Sun, Norton said, “We’ve been talking to our customers for quite a while about the amenities they would like to have, and a hotel is always at the top of the list,” he said. “If they are locals, they are looking for the staycation; if they are driving from two hours away, they are looking for a place to stay for a night and have a couple of days of fun.” Norton said that they anticipate that nearly 400 employees will be added to the approximately 3,000 currently employed by Maryland Live once the project is completed.

While the casino, located in Hanover, Maryland at the Arundel Mills mall out produces its nearest competitor, the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, by more than double, Maryland Live faces new competition from MGM Resorts International’s $1.3 billion MGM National Harbor. Situated on the banks of the Potomac River, Maryland’s sixth and final gaming venue slated to open before the year’s end will offer Las Vegas-style entertainment and will look to lure visitors from nearby Washington, D.C. and, Virginia. However, the mega-casino resort poses the biggest threat to the Maryland Live Casino.

Located within a few miles of Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Maryland Live’s new hotel is entering a crowded market, but casino officials don’t expect to be in direct competition with the surrounding hotels as its focus will be to serve the casino’s existing customer base, according to the news agency. Data from hospitality research firm STR shows that compared with last year May, this year room bookings in hotels located in Anne Arundel County rose by 1.5 percent.

In related news, alleging that three of its former employees stole lists of 3,000 or more high-rollers who belong to the casino’s player reward system and then provided then to MGM, Maryland Live Casino recently filed a lawsuit against MGM Resorts International in federal court in Baltimore.