One woman hit it big on the first night that table games were open at the Arundel Mills casino.
With an arrival heralded by an event called the March of the Dealers, followed by a ceremonial roll of the dice, Maryland Live! got ready to raise the stakes with table games.
At 12:01 a.m. Thursday, the casino introduced 24-hour play at 122 tables. Until now, patrons just came to play the slot machines.
The new tables have already paid off -- big-time -- for one gambler. She was playing backjack in a high stakes room for about $100 per hand.
"I came at exactly 12:01 to be one of the first people at the tables," said a woman named Danielle. "...I've been here about seven hours or so, and I got lucky. I won about $20,000, and it's not bad for a day's work."
Table games are the latest step in the state's dramatic expansion of commercial gambling.
The goal is to keep in Maryland the estimated $3-$4 million per year spent by Free State residents at casinos in Delaware and West Virginia.
So far, officials estimate that Maryland Live! has been generating more than $1 million in slots revenue per day since it opened in June.
"There is a large element of our populartoin that wants a live deal, that wants a live croupier at a craps table," said David Cordish, chairman of Tthe Cordish Companies, which owns the casino, shortly before the tables opened for play. "And starting at midnight tonight, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, they will have it."
A new two-story poker room is being built and will open about 50 additional tables this summer.