The Cordish Companies and  Maryland Live! casino are in the process of developing a $200 million hotel, spa and event center and have scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony on September 13. The Cordish Cos will manage the flagship hotel which is expected to open to the public during the first quarter of 2018.

Construction work on the hotel is expected to commence soon after the groundbreaking ceremony and the addition of this $200 million facility to the Maryland Live! casino brand is expected to significantly enhance the casino’s services giving patrons the opportunity to stay, play and eat in a world class environment.

The Maryland Live casino has had significant success in Maryland’s casino industry and has generated a significant amount of revenue for the government in the form of gaming taxes. The addition of the flagship hotel will further increase the casino’s contribution to the government and the county’s schools. One of the reasons behind the major expansion is due to the fact that the Maryland Live casino is preparing for stiff competition that is bound to arise once the MGM National Harbor casino opens in Prince George’s County.

MGM has invested $1.3 billion into the National Harbor casino which is expected to open before the end of 2016. The casino resort will have a 24-storey hotel and a 3,000-seat theater and look to attract gamblers from the Baltimore corridor and Washington D.C.,  which are markets Maryland Live casino has focused on since it opening in 2012.

James Karmel, the president and chief analyst of Gaming Atlantic, a casino consulting firm stated that Maryland Live had made it clear that it intends to aggressively compete for resort traffic with the MGM National Harbor casino by investing $200 million into a hotel complex. In a statement, Karmel said “I think Maryland Live has a very lucrative product as a regional, non-resort destination casino. It’s just a matter of trying to get some percentage of that overnight traffic. I don’t think Maryland Live is going to try to compete for all of it”.

Karmel stated that there are quite a few southern states that have areas of immense wealth but no casinos in the vicinity. He expected both the MGM National Harbor and Maryland Live casinos to target areas like Norfolk, Virginia and Raleigh, North Carolina as players from these areas could find it enticing to visit the two casinos now that they have an option of staying overnight at these resorts.

Karmel went on to say that it would take a number of months before gaming regulators in Maryland are able to get an idea of how successful the Maryland Live casino expansion plans have turned out to be and how the market responds to the new MGM National Harbor casino.