CASINO: A Money-Making Mirage in Perryville
Hollywood Casino Perryville has been a big boost for local and state economies since opening in September.
Its claim to fame was always the outlets.
Today, Perryville can boast the first and only casino in Maryland.
The Hollywood Casino Perryville opened in September to positive reviews, and has been making money hand over fist for the state. While it is the flagship for Maryland, locals have embraced it with open arms.
"One of the things we heard right away was, 'Wow, we can't believe this is right here in Perryville.' They're really excited about it, and they've been impressed with the facility we've built here. That it's a top-notch, first-rate facility," Hollywood Casino Perryville general manager Himbert Sinopoli said in a recent interview with Patch.
The casino opened Sept. 27, earning $2.08 million in the first four days. Hollywood Perryville earned $11.3 million in October and $7.59 million in November—a predicted drop-off in November, due to the season and the distance from such a promising start.
The turnout was instantaneous. One of the biggest complaints in the first few weeks of operation was the crowd.
"I guess that's a good thing for you to have," Sinopoli said. "A lot of it had to do with that initial on-rush. We had some people saying, 'Hey, I'm not going to come back because it's too crowded.' Well, obviously after that first week and a half, after the newness wore off, there's not a wait outside anymore. People are coming on a more even basis."
The casino boasts 1,500 slots, a buffet, a sandwich shop, a gift store and a gamer's information center—where players can sign up for their player's card to earn rewards and give-aways. The slots feature different themes, but most are in a Hollywood or entertainment genre. The "Sex in the City" slots are among the most popular, according to Mark DeLeo, Hollywood Perryville's director of marketing.
Perryville is one of ten Hollywood Casinos in the country, operating under the Penn National Gaming umbrella. It's the first casino of any kind in Maryland.
"It's great. It's always fantastic to be the first," Sinopoli said. "There are always struggles, as we work through things like the nuances of the law here in Maryland. But it's been terrific. The feedback we've gotten from our guests has been phenomenal as well. We're just excited to be a part of it."
Hollywood Casino Perryville has provided job opportunities for Harford County residents, and an alternative form of entertainment. For the regular slot player, it provides the closest option for game play.
"I didn't think there was that much space over there to put a casino," Havre de Grace resident Amanda Close said. "I love that its that close, something fun to do while the kids are in school."
This is Part One in a series of stories on the Hollywood Casino Perryville.