My Visit to Maryland Live!

Patch editor gambles and learns a big life lesson.

Despite being at the Wednesday night and , I had yet to gamble any money at the new casino.  

So on Monday, I set aside part of my morning to wager a few dollars. (Yes, I am gambling on company time. I know you’re just jealous.)

I drove over to the Arundel Mills area at about 11 a.m. I parked in the garage, took the elevator down to the main casino floor and walked in, confident that I could win a few bucks.

Except that I forgot to bring one very important thing: Money.


As it turns out, I did locate five $1 bills in my wallet, which I figured would be enough to let me have fun on the cheap slot machines.

BUT FIRST, I had to go and sign up for the Live! Rewards card, which promised to offer free slot money and big discounts on food and other things. Apparently, you get a point for every dollar you gamble. Which is nice, except that you need about 400 trillion points to earn enough for a trip to the salad bar.

Nevertheless, I had dreams of winning it big, so I shuffled over to the 25-cent video poker machines. (Took me quite a while to find them. Next time, I am bringing a Sherpa.)

I sat down at the shiny machine, put a dollar in the slot and … saw it come right back to me. I tried again. Rejected, again. I flattened the bill against my stomach. No success.

Feeling a bit like George Costanza, I found myself both irked and amused at the notion of a casino that refused to take my money.

I hit the “service” button on the machine and waited. And waited. And waited. Eight minutes later, I got up and bothered a friendly employee on the casino floor. I’ll call her Denise.

“So… these machines don’t seem interested in my money,” I said.

“What kind of money are you trying to put in?” Denise asked.

I thought of replying with a snide response like “Prussian Francs,” but held myself.

“One dollar bills,” I said.

“Oh, I think there’s a five dollar minimum,” Denise said. “But let me check with someone else.”

Denise checked with another woman, who was apparently on the “slots team.”

“Five dollar minimum. Five dollar minimum,” Mrs. Slots Team said.

“Even for 25-cent games?” I asked. She nodded, as if there were large neon signs at every corner informing us of these rules.

The next step was to then hustle over to the cashier, who accepted my sorry dollar bills in exchange for a crisp five spot.

Finally, I was ready to gamble. I bet a quarter. Lost a quarter. Bet a quarter. Lost a quarter. This went on a while, so I switched machines. I bet a quarter and won … 50 cents! Then lost. Then lost again.

I was broke within 20 minutes. 

But I had fun, I suppose. And I will be back. 

Next time, armed with a briefcase of $5 bills.

Stephanie Lantz June 12, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Currently I don't have a big interest in the casino part of Maryland Live, but the restaurants are of great interest. I love Bobby Flays Burger Palace and have been to the one in DC many times. I have heard a number of people say you can not get to the restaurants without standing in the long line for the casino entrance. Are there any future plans for patrons to get into the restaurants without the added hassle of the casino? I feel the restaurants are losing business due to the hassle of the casino lines. Somehow there should be a plan that if you want to go into the restaurant sections only, you can bypass those that are waiting for the casino. If you want the restaurants only, maybe a wrist band could be used to identify that. Just a thought.
Tim Lemke June 12, 2012 at 03:53 PM
When I went yesterday, I walked right in. There were no lines and there were plenty of empty tables at Bobby's Burger Palace. Granted, it was 11:30 a.m. on a Monday. You can get into Bobby's Burger Palace without actually going onto the casino floor (so kids can eat there), but I'm not sure how it would work if there's a long line to get into the building.
MAW June 12, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Sounds like most of these expierences to the new casino end up like a typical trip to the MVA....
Bee June 13, 2012 at 01:45 AM
We live in Millersville but we are on a cross country trip so we missed the opening of the casino. We are in Vegas right now and this evening we are going downtown to the older side of Vegas where they tell us the chances of winning are greater than playing the machines on the strip. We'll see what happens :-)
Betty June 13, 2012 at 02:17 PM
@ George I live right down the road from the casino.....In a few months things will settle down with the traffic....As with anywhere that you live...if land is available somebody is going to build on it eventually....


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