The Washington Post

Maryland casinos can go 24 hours on Dec. 27

The new Maryland Live ! casino in Anne Arundel County on opening night in June.(Photo by Mark Gail/The Washington Post)

Maryland casinos will be allowed to stay open around-the-clock starting Dec. 27, the first of several changes resulting from last month’s passage of Question 7, a state official said Thursday.

Until now, casinos have been forced to close at 4 a.m. on weekends and 2 a.m. during the week.

The move to 24 hours received relatively little attention during the campaign over the ballot measure on expanded gambling. Question 7 also authorized a new casino in Prince George’s County and table games at Maryland’s other previously designated slots locations.

Maryland Live!, the state’s largest casino, plans to take full advantage of the 24-hour provision at its Anne Arundel County facility starting on Dec. 27.

But the state’s other two casinos that are currently open have requested a more limited expansion in hours, said Stephen Martino, executive director of the state Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

The Casino at Ocean Downs, near Ocean City, has asked state officials for permission to stay open around-the-clock over the weekend, but close at 3 a.m. during the week.

Hollywood Casino Perryville, located in the northeastern corner of the state, similarly wants to stay open all weekend but continue to close at 2 a.m. during the week. The casino would stay open 24-hours once it gets table games.

Those requests will be considered next week, Martino said.

Casinos have said they expect to add table games, such as black jack and roulette, sometime next spring. The gaming control commission must first approve regulations governing the new games.

A separate state commission is expected to take bids for a Prince George’s casino sometime next year.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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