BALTIMORE - Maryland’s newest casino is getting closer to its opening day.
The Horseshoe Casino is taking shape along Russell Street – even starting the process of hiring card dealers this week.
It could revitalize the Russell Street corridor; but it could also bring traffic, noise and crime to South Baltimore.
The Horseshoe will feature 2,500 slot machines, 100 table games and a 25-table poker room.
On Monday and continuing Tuesday, anyone who will be 21 when the casino opens was invited to M & T Bank Stadium, to see whether they'd make a good table games dealer.
"All people need is a great attitude. We really pride ourselves on training for aptitude and hiring for attitude" said Alex Dixon, the casino’s vice president and assistant general manager.
Meanwhile neighborhoods in South Baltimore are getting ready as well.
Most people who go to the casino are expected to use Russell Street. But that means other drivers might avoid Russell -- and try the two-lane Hanover Street instead.
“It's unrealistic to expect that we're not going to have any increased impact. But we do hope that the city will continue to work with us to shift people around our neighborhood, so that they're not driving through the peninsula, they're driving down Russell, they're driving off 295,” said Morgan Alcalay the president of the South Baltimore Neighborhood Association.
They are trying to come up with ways to minimize the impact. Also, the casino has been granted a 24-hour license to serve alcohol.
That means when the bars on Cross Street close at 2 a.m. customers could try to find their way to the Horseshoe.
Alcalay said city police have been responsive, and have even discussed opening a sub-station in the area.
“Really just quality of life,” he said. “If there's kids walking down your block screaming at 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday night, you’re not going to be happy.”
Alcalay complimented officials from the casino -- saying they have participated in the neighborhood's meetings.
Alex Dixon, from the Horseshoe Casino, said it is on track to open in August or September of this year.