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Maryland's gambling industry enters its next phase as Baltimore's first casino opens its doors

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BALTIMORE — Baltimore celebrated the opening of the city's first casino as crowds lined the block and packed into the parking garage, eager to try their luck.

Horseshoe Baltimore is the last of five casinos to open in Maryland after lawmakers legalized gambling in the state.

Before the general public was allowed inside at 9 p.m. Tuesday, the casino hosted an invite-only fete that included live music, showgirls on pedestals and an aerial acrobat suspended from a chandelier made of wine bottles.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was joined by Gov. Martin O'Malley to celebrate Horseshoe's grand opening.

Rawlings-Blake called the casino a "springboard for growth" for the city, adding that the casino will employ more than 2,400, more than half from Baltimore.

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