Sean K. Preston & The Loaded Pistols To Play Shooters Sports Pub Near The Casino At Ocean Downs During Delmarva Bike Week

 

Sean K. Preston doesn’t get gussied up for the show…he wears his cowboy hat, dirty jeans and shitkicker boots everyday. If it sounds like he sings about hard luck, lost love, long journeys, dark secrets, damnation and redemption like he’s lived through them…it’s because he damn well has.

He’s quick with the wise cracks between songs while gulping down whiskey and bantering with the audience…but when the next song starts you better believe he’ll be sweating blood to deliver the best performance. It’s Blues- Punk -Country, Rock’n'Roll….Amen

Check out additional info, Video & Music at: http://www.reverbnation.com/seankpreston

Casino Expansion Project Enters County Planning Process; Addition Considered Likely Home For Table Games

 

BERLIN — The Casino at Ocean Downs is planning a major addition to the facility on Route 589. Exactly what the planned 35,475-square-foot space will be used for has not been confirmed, however.

The site plan passed through the Worcester County Technical Review Committee this week on its way to the Planning Commission. The addition will be built on the north side of the present casino.

“Basically, if you’re facing the building looking at the building now, it’s the vacant parking lot area on the left-hand side,” said Jennifer Burke, a planner for the county.

Besides the size of the proposed addition, details on its usage are scant.

“I honestly don’t know the details,” said Hugh Cropper, the attorney representing Ocean Downs at the technical review. Cropper was only able to say that the addition would be “a continuation of the casino usage.”

There has been long-standing speculation that the casino will look to add table games in the near future, something Joe Cavilla, general manager, confirmed was under consideration when he met with the county’s Local Development Council (LDC) in late-spring.

“Table games are being seriously considered is the way I would put it at this point,” he said at the time.

At the LDC meeting, Cavilla reported the casino would not remove video lottery machines to make way for table games. The new expansion would mean plenty of room for the games. However, the casino has not responded to requests for information as of Thursday afternoon.

Though the technical review was short, county representatives passed on some information for consideration moving forward. Bob Mitchell, director for Environmental Programs, reminded John Salm, the engineer behind the expansion, that natural gas is being added to the area around the casino and could benefit the addition.

“We are doing the natural gas conversion. We’ve already done some industrial facilities on the Route 113 corridor,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell asked Salm about how the addition might impact the restroom situation for harness racing spectators. Right now, adults can enter the casino to use the facilities but minors are, legally, not allowed in and have to use portables. Salm promised to pass on Mitchell’s questions to the casino.

The next step for the site plan will be review by the Planning Commission, likely early next month. More information on the intended use should become available then. How it could impact traffic on Route 589, for example, will be tied directly to how the space will be used and considered by the commission.

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This article was written by Travis Brown

Maryland Casinos Generate $69.27 Million in Revenue During July ~ Casino at Ocean Downs generates $5,826,335


The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency today announced July 2013 revenue numbers for the state’s four casinos — Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County, Casino at Ocean Downs in Worcester County, Maryland Live Casino in Anne Arundel County, and Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Allegany County. July 2013’s combined statewide revenue totaled $69,272,542.

The Casino at Ocean Downs generated $5,826,335 in July, and its gross gaming revenue per unit per day was $234.93. Casino at Ocean Downs’ July 2013 revenue increased by $71,919 or 1.25% from July 2012. The Casino at Ocean Downs operates 800 slot machines.

 

VLT Gaming Revenue – Total

  % July 2013 Calendar YTD 2013 Fiscal YTD 2014
Gross Terminal Revenue
100 $50,105,515.03 $346,864,358.44 $50,105,515.03
Education Trust Fund 49.25 $23,873,993.59 $169,824,657.02 $23,873,993.59
Casino Operators 33 $17,634,110.65 $116,040,686.11 $17,634,110.65
Horse Racing Purse Dedication Account 7 $3,370,623.88 $24,017,701.33 $3,370,623.88
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $2,672,226.43 $18,916,937.42 $2,672,226.43
Racertrack Facility Renewal Account 1.75 $823,661.22 $5,967,924.82 $823,661.22
Maryland Lottery 2 $1,002,110.23 $6,937,286.99 $1,002,110.23
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $728,789.03 $5,159,164.75 $728,789.03

Table Games Revenue – Total

VLT Gaming Revenue – Casino at Ocean Downs

  % July 2013 Calendar YTD 2013 Fiscal YTD 2014
Gross Terminal Revenue
100 $5,826,334.96 $29,724,878.35 $5,826,334.96
Education Trust Fund 43 $2,286,836.47 $14,056,869.10 $2,286,836.47
Casino Operator 39.25 $2,505,324.03 $10,391,843.40 $2,505,324.03
Horse Racing Purse Dedication Account 7 $407,843.45 $2,080,741.48 $407,843.45
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $320,448.42 $1,634,868.32 $320,448.42
Racertrack Facility Renewal Account 1.75 $101,960.86 $520,185.36 $101,960.86
Maryland Lottery 2 $116,526.71 $594,497.52 $116,526.71
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $87,395.02 $445,873.17 $87,395.02
  % July 2013 Calendar YTD 2013 Fiscal YTD 2014
Gross Terminal Revenue
100 $34,962,148.03 $265,276,595.39 $34,962,148.03
Education Trust Fund 49.25 $17,218,857.90 $130,648,723.22 $17,218,857.90
Casino Operator 33 $11,537,508.85 $87,541,276.44 $11,537,508.85
Horse Racing Purse Dedication Account 7 $2,447,350.36 $18,569,361.67 $2,447,350.36
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $1,922,918.14 $14,590,212.75 $1,922,918.14
Racertrack Facility Renewal Account 1.75 $611,837.59 $4,642,340.42 $611,837.59
Maryland Lottery 2 $699,242.97 $5,305,531.97 $699,242.97
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $524,432.22 $3,979,148.92 $524,432.22

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission is responsible for all matters relating to regulation of the state’s casinos. In this regulatory role, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (LGCA) oversees all internal controls, auditing, security, surveillance, background investigation, licensing and accounting procedures for the facilities.

Casino At Ocean Downs Proposes Construction For 35,475 sq. ft. Addition

Construction began to existion terminal early 2012

 

Construction began to existing terminal casino early 2012

 

Casino at Ocean Downs near Ocean City Maryland schedule for hearing on proposed 35,475 sq. ft. addition to existing video lottery terminal casino 

WORCESTER COUNTY TECHNICAL REVIEW COMMITTEE

AGENDA

 

August 14, 2013

Est. Time

1:00 P.M. I. Call to Order

II. §ZS 1-325 Site Plan Review

1:00 P.M. A. Ocean Downs – Proposed construction of a 35,475 square

foot addition to the existing video lottery terminal casino, located on the east side of MD Route 589 (Racetrack Road), north of US Route 50 (Ocean Gateway), Tax Map 21, Parcel 99, Tax District 03, A-2 Agricultural District,

Ocean Downs, LLC, owner/J.W. Salm Engineering, Inc., engineer

;

1:20 P.M. III. Adjourn

NOTE: Apr 26, 2013 – … Worcester County gave final approval to an application from Ocean Downs to establish bringing the casino onto the Ocean Pines Water and Sewer network.

 

 

Shooter’s Sports Pub Opens Next To The Casino At Ocean Downs

 

Shooters Sports Pub located just 1 minute south of the Casino on Racetrack Rd. in Berlin has announced there grand opening weekend with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday 4pm June 8th. Happy  hour food and drink specials will continue all weekend along with live entertainment. Shooters Sports pub is is at the former location of The Steer Inn Tavern. Shooters offers up a full pub fare menu as well an extensive line of local craft beers,  wines and specialty drinks. Shooters has you covered with many adult and family oriented games such as Pool, Basketball, Golf, Shuffle Bowl, Darts, plenty of  TV’s to watch your favorite sports along with much much more. Shoot on in and enjoy some of what all the local’s are calling their new favorite spot for all their sporting events.

Maryland Casinos Generate $69.17 Million in Revenue During May ~ Ocean Downs Casino Up 7.01% From 2012

VLT gross revenues exceed Board of Revenue Estimates projections for fiscal year

 

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency today announced May 2013 revenue numbers for the state’s four casinos — Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County, Casino at Ocean Downs in Worcester County, Maryland Live Casino in Anne Arundel County, and Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Allegany County. May 2013’s combined statewide revenue totaled $69,179,210.

 

Hollywood Casino Perryville generated $8,572,924 from both slot machines and table games in May. Gross gaming revenue per unit per day was: $194.35 for slot machines, $3,351.99 for banking table games and $1,408.21 for non-banking table games. In a year-to-year comparison, Hollywood Casino’s May 2013 revenue decreased by $1,519,672 or 15.06% from May 2012. Hollywood Casino Perryville operates 1,158 machines and 20 (12 banking and eight non-banking) table games. The facility debuted its table games on March 6, 2013.

 

The Casino at Ocean Downs generated $4,773,768 in May, and its gross gaming revenue per machine per day was $192.49. The Casino at Ocean Downs’ May 2013 revenue increased by $312,906 or 7.01% from May 2012. The Casino at Ocean Downs operates 800 slot machines.

 

Maryland Live Casino generated $55,056,385 from both slot machines and table games in May. Gross gaming revenue per unit per day was: $280.03 for slot machines and $4,644.02 for banking table games. Maryland Live Casino operates 4,319 machines and 122 banking table games. The facility debuted its table games on April 11, 2013.

 

Rocky Gap Casino Resort generated $776,133 from both slot machines and table games in May. Gross gaming revenue per unit per day was: $106.39 for slot machines and $1,161.52 for banking table games. Rocky Gap Casino Resort operates 554 slot machines and 10 banking table games. The casino opened to the public on May 22, 2013.

 

In a year-to-year comparison — excluding Maryland Live, which opened in June 2012 and Rocky Gap Casino Resort — May 2013 casino revenue decreased from May 2012 by $1,206,766 or 8.29%. The addition of Maryland Live and Rocky Gap Casino Resort, however, brought a year-to-year net benefit to the state of $36,599,254. May’s figures brought total FY2013 VLT gross revenues to $511.1 million, exceeding the Board of Revenue Estimates’ total FY2013 VLT revenue budget.

 

VLT Gaming Revenue – Total

 

% May 2013 Calendar YTD 2013 Fiscal YTD 2013
Gross Terminal Revenue
100 $49,891,569.36 $247,578,819.34 $511,130,697.13
Education Trust Fund 49.25 $24,524,591.41 $121,885,562.04 $250,667,945.48
Casino Operators 33 $16,574,440.05 $81,811,232.58 $168,783,352.33
Purse Dedication 7 $3,463,233.40 $17,301,340.88 $35,749,972.33
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $2,726,206.26 $13,599,005.02 $28,094,358.31
Race Tracks Facility Renewal Account 1.75 $861,756.07 $4,321,282.94 $9,950,357.14
Maryland Lottery 2 $997,831.38 $4,951,576.34 $10,222,613.84
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $743,510.79 $3,708,819.54 $7,662,097.70

 

 

VLT Gaming Revenue – Casino at Ocean Downs

 

% May 2013 Calendar YTD 2013 Fiscal YTD 2013
Gross Terminal Revenue
100 $4,773,768.28 $19,087,870.82 $45,579,453.86
Education Trust Fund 49.25 $2,351,080.88 $9,400,776.39 $22,325,405.21
Casino Operator 33 $1,575,343.54 $6,298,997.41 $15,041,219.84
Purse Dedication 7 $334,163.78 $1,336,150.95 $3,190,561.76
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $262,557.26 $1,049,832.91 $2,506,869.99
Race Tracks Facility Renewal Account 1.75 $83,540.94 $334,037.73 $920,116.24
Maryland Lottery 2 $95,475.36 $381,757.37 $911,589.01
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $71,606.52 $286,318.06 $683,691.81

 

 

 

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission is responsible for all matters relating to regulation of the state’s casinos. In this regulatory role, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (LGCA) oversees all internal controls, auditing, security, surveillance, background investigation, licensing and accounting procedures for the facilities.

Casinos ask for 24/7 slots to ring in new year

 

It doesn’t take all night to watch the ball drop and pop open the bubbly — but don’t tell that to Maryland’s three casinos.

Maryland Live! in Anne Arundel County, the Casino at Ocean Downs near Ocean City and Hollywood Casino in Perryville all have requested that the state let them

extend their hours around New Year’s Eve with the option of switching over to complete 24/7 operation.

“They try to market themselves as party places,” said Maryland gambling analyst James Karmel. “And what better time to party than New Year’s Eve?”

All three are planning special events for New Year’s Eve, ranging from concerts and steak dinners to slot promotions and prizes.

The opportunity is there thanks to the passage of Question 7 on the state ballot in November. The ballot initiative allowed all-day operation and table games like poker and blackjack, as well as a new casino in Prince George’s County, though table games likely won’t be in place until 2013.

The new casino, expected to be at National Harbor, can’t open until

July 2016, but the current casinos are hoping their requests for longer hours will be approved when the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission meets Thursday.

“Management at Maryland Live Casino has undertaken all of the necessary steps to ensure it will be adequately staffed and fully prepared in all respects to receive members of the public twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week beginning December 27,” casino President and General Manager Robert Norton wrote in a letter to the commission.

Maryland Live! — located at Arundel Mills mall, making it the closest casino to the Washington area — is the only one asking for all-day operation right off the bat. The casino has brought in by far the majority of revenue in the state, averaging $32.2 million a month since it opened in June.

Hollywood Casino is looking to stay open from 8 a.m. Friday, Dec. 28, to 2 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, then change hours to 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday and all-night operations on weekends.

Hollywood Casino would then move to 24/7 operation once rules governing table games were finalized, which is expected to happen in early 2013. The casino generated about $5.4 million in November, down 40.5 percent from November of last year, according to the Maryland Lottery.

The Casino at Ocean Downs is looking to stay open from Dec. 30 to 3 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, with new regular operating hours of 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Thursday and not closing on weekends until 2 a.m. Mondays.

“Considering the seasonal nature of our location and current time of year, we do not believe our location can sustain full 24/7 operations at this time,” casino General Manager Joseph Cavilla wrote in his letter.

The Casino at Ocean Downs generated $3.3 million in November, up 6.9 percent from last November. Its waterfront location means the casino draws more in the summer months — it averaged $5.3 million a month in June, July and August of this year.

mconnolly@washingtonexaminer.com

Maryland Casinos Generate $43 Million in Revenue During November

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency today announced November 2012 revenue numbers for the state’s three casinos — Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County, Casino at Ocean Downs in Worcester County and Maryland Live Casino in Anne Arundel County. November 2012’s combined statewide revenue totaled $43,102,301.54.

Hollywood Casino Perryville generated $5,421,639.64 in November, and its gross gaming revenue per machine per day was $120.48 for the month. In a year-to-year comparison, Hollywood Casino’s November 2012 revenue decreased by $3,691,400.02 or 40.5% from November 2011.  Hollywood Casino Perryville operates 1,500 machines.

The Casino at Ocean Downs generated $3,315,479.40 in November, and its gross gaming revenue per machine per day was $138.14. The Casino at Ocean Downs’ November 2012 revenue increased by $213,147.05 or 6.9% from November 2011.  The Casino at Ocean Downs operates 800 machines.

Maryland Live Casino generated $34,365,182.50 in November, and its gross gaming revenue was $241.16 per day per machine.  Maryland Live operates 4,750 machines.

In a year-to-year comparison — excluding Maryland Live, which opened in June – November 2012 casino revenue decreased from November 2011 by $3,478,252.97 or 28.5% decrease.

VLT Gaming Revenue – Total

% November 2012 Calendar YTD 2012 Fiscal YTD 2013
Gross Terminal Revenue
100 $43,102,301.54 $332,569,660.15 $218,307,995.18
Education Trust Fund 49.25 $21,227,883.50 $161,916,678.79 $106,499,771.26
Casino Operators 33 $14,223,759.52 $109,747,987.98 $72,041,638.47
Purse Dedication 7 $3,017,161.11 $23,279,876.20 $15,281,559.66
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $2,370,626.59 $18,291,331.32 $12,006,939.75
Race Tracks Facility Renewal Account 1.75 $754,290.27 $7,693,847.89 $4,837,306.26
Maryland Lottery 2 $862,046.03 $6,651,393.08 $4,366,159.85
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $646,534.52 $4,988,544.89 $3,274,619.93

VLT Gaming Revenue – Hollywood Casino Perryville

% November 2012 Calendar YTD 2012 Fiscal YTD 2013
Gross Terminal Revenue
100 $5,421,639.64 $92,652,856.17 $30,300,504.99
Education Trust Fund 49.25 $2,670,157.52 $45,018,383.49 $14,777,493.16
Casino Operator 33 $1,789,141.08 $30,575,442.58 $9,999,166.66
Purse Dedication 7 $379,514.77 $6,485,699.92 $2,121,035.34
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $298,190.18 $5,095,907.08 $1,666,527.77
Race Tracks Facility Renewal Account 1.75 $94,878.69 $2,234,573.15 $675,764.37
Maryland Lottery 2 $108,432.81 $1,853,057.11 $606,010.12
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $81,324.59 $1,389,792.84 $454,507.57

VLT Gaming Revenue – Casino at Ocean Downs

% November 2012 Calendar YTD 2012 Fiscal YTD 2013
Gross Terminal Revenue
100 $3,315,479.40 $46,583,493.23 $23,155,657.06
Education Trust Fund 49.25 $1,632,873.60 $22,644,185.83 $11,281,685.28
Casino Operator 33 $1,094,108.20 $15,372,552.83 $7,641,366.85
Purse Dedication 7 $232,083.56 $3,260,844.52 $1,620,895.99
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $182,351.37 $2,562,092.14 $1,273,561.15
Race Tracks Facility Renewal Account 1.75 $58,020.89 $1,113,395.72 $527,699.81
Maryland Lottery 2 $66,309.59 $931,669.80 $463,113.12
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $49,732.19 $698,752.39 $347,334.86

VLT Gaming Revenue – Maryland LIVE

% November 2012 Calendar YTD 2012 Fiscal YTD 2013
Gross Terminal Revenue
100 $34,365,182.50 $193,333,310.75 $164,851,833.13
Education Trust Fund 49.25 $16,924,852.38 $94,254,109.47 $80,440,592.82
Casino Operator 33 $11,340,510.24 $63,799,992.57 $54,401,104.96
Purse Dedication 7 $2,405,562.78 $13,533,331.76 $11,539,628.33
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $1,890,085.04 $10,633,332.10 $9,066,850.83
Race Tracks Facility Renewal Account 1.75 $601,390.69 $4,345,879.02 $3,633,842.08
Maryland Lottery 2 $687,303.63 $3,866,666.17 $3,297,036.61
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $515,477.74 $2,899,999.66 $2,472,777.50

Worcester Casino At Ocean Downs Mulling Addition Of Table Games

11/23/2012 | By Staff Writer, Travis Brown

SNOW HILL — In the wake of a successful voter referendum for Maryland’s Question 7, an initiative allowing a significant expansion in state gambling laws, the Worcester County’s Local Development Council (LDC) and Ocean Downs Casino representatives discussed Monday if, when and how the casino will expand.

While Ocean Downs General Manager Joe Cavilla was not prepared to set anything in stone, he did tell the board this morning that growth into table games is being considered and he hopes to have concrete information by March, though he didn’t make any promises.

Currently, Ocean Downs features live harness racing during part of the summer and approximately 800 video lottery machines throughout the year. With the passage of Question 7 earlier this month, the casino now has the option of adding table games as well as expanding what kind of entertainment the site can feature.

“We started meeting probably the day after the bill passed … With these new opportunities we need to look at how we’ll add them,” said Cavilla.

While video lottery machines, more commonly known as slot machines, have a reputation as being the biggest revenue earners a casino can have, Cavilla explained that having table games changes the atmosphere of a location in a positive way, which leads to more customers overall.

“You want the interaction of the other person on the other side of the table,” he said. “That’s really what makes table games fun. We’ve done focus groups and they always rank that first.”

Cavilla added that employing dealers to run the table games is “where you get the jobs from.”

However, the current Ocean Downs property is not designed for table games to be included along with slots.

“Our building was not designed for anything other than holding slot machines,” said Cavilla. “With the restrictions that were on the property initially, no entertainment, no food comping, all of those restrictions really left us with a very non-descript property, with very limited options.”

Now that Question 7 has allowed the addition of table games and other initiatives by the Maryland General Assembly have loosened restrictions on entertainment and what a casino can provide overall, Cavilla said that the property is being re-examined for the best possible ways to use the space.

One thing that Cavilla does expect to avoid is reducing the slots already on site.

“Other [casinos] are removing slots to add tables,” he said. “Maryland Live has 4,750 machines. Penn National has 1,500 machines. We think that the 800 that we have is the appropriate number. So we don’t really look to remove any machines.”

Besides table games, other changes that altered state gambling laws this year have given Ocean Downs the option of expanding entertainment on the property.

Up until only a few months ago the casino was allowed no entertainment beyond a single piano player and the occasional fireworks display. Changes to the gaming laws have eliminated those restrictions and now Ocean Downs is able to operate within the parameters of its original license with the Worcester County Board of License Commissioners (BLC). Under that license, the casino is allowed to have live entertainment up to 10 pieces inside the building seven days a week during the racing season until 2 a.m. Every player in a band, including the vocalist, is considered a “piece” in terms of live entertainment.

After the racing season, the number of days is reduced to five per week. Outside entertainment is allowed in the grandstand area between May 1 and Nov. 1 for four days per week until 11 p.m.

The previous limitation to a single piano and fireworks was put in place to protect the established entertainment business in the area, like that found in Ocean City, from losing visitors. While county Liquor License Administrator April Payne admitted that a 10-piece live entertainment license was “substantial”, she also noted that it is well under what some of the biggest clubs and attractions in Ocean City, such as Seacrets, can offer. Payne also explained that if Ocean Downs wants to permanently alter its current license, it will have to meet with the BLC in a public meeting where any concerns or questions can emerge.

“Anything that changes the actual license requires an advertised hearing,” she said.

With the recent changes to state law, Payne told Cavilla that the BLC has anticipated a discussion about entertainment at the casino.

“You can always come in before the board and ask that it be changed,” she said. “They’re aware that the Senate bill has gone through. They’re aware that you probably will want changes in your entertainment options and so forth.”

But at this point no changes have been requested, according to Cavilla.

The LDC will meet again in March. By that time, Cavilla hopes to have some more information on the direction Ocean Downs will pursue with the new flexibility it now has. He couldn’t guarantee that such a path will be decided upon by this spring, however. Instead, Cavilla only promised to keep the LDC in the loop during the process.

“When we are ready, when we reach out to those other groups, we’ll reach out to you,” he said.

 

Casino At Ocean Downs Leader Talks Expansion Plan’s Potential

11/09/2012 | By News Editor, Shawn J. Soper

OCEAN CITY — Hours after voters across Maryland approved an expansion of gambling in the state including table games, Casino at Ocean Downs General Manager Joe Cavilla was already talking about an expansion at the gaming facility on Route 589 near Ocean Pines.

On Tuesday, a majority of the state’s electorate approved Question 7, a referendum on a bill that will expand gaming in Maryland including the addition of table games at the state’s current and future casinos and the addition of a sixth casino in Prince George’s County, among other things. On Wednesday morning, Cavilla was put on the spot somewhat when asked during an Ocean City Economic Development Committee (EDC) meeting what the approved referendum question means for the Casino at Ocean Downs.

“We’re excited about what it brings to our area,” he said. “I’m not really prepared to talk about plans today, but we’re excited about the potential for the future.”

Cavilla told EDC members the existing facilities at the Casino at Ocean Downs are just about maxed out in terms of space and suggested an expansion is likely to accommodate some of the provisions allowed under the approved legislation.

“Over the next two or three months, we’re anticipating an expansion,” he said. “The facility was built for what it is now. We’re considering an expansion, but the reality is, the facility as it is now can’t hold much more.”

The Maryland General Assembly this summer convened a special session to consider proposed legislation aimed at expanding the state’s nascent casino gambling programs after state lawmakers could not approve a similar bill during the regular General Assembly session. The resulting legislation called for an expansion to table games, such as blackjack, poker, craps and roulette, for example, and the addition of a sixth approved site in Prince George’s County. The legislation also includes the creation of a State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission, an appointed body which would hold purview on all gambling policies in the state.

However, the bill needed approval from Maryland voters through the referendum process. On Tuesday, the state’s electorate approved Question 7 with 52 percent in favor and 48 percent against. In Worcester and Wicomico counties, the percentages were similar.

Statewide, proponents of the bill argued an expansion to table games would stop the flow of gaming dollars into neighboring states that currently offer them, particularly West Virginia and Delaware. However, opponents argued the legislation represented a sell out to the big casino operators with higher revenue shares, lower tax rates and an empty promise for more money for Maryland schools.

After months of debate and an estimated $90 million waged in one of the most expensive campaigns by both sides in state history, state voters approved the referendum question on Tuesday. Cavilla said an eventual expansion to table games and some of the relaxed provisions on what the Berlin casino can offer patrons could help put the Casino at Ocean Downs on the gaming map. He said an expanded presence will only help the entire region.

“It’s an opportunity to promote ourselves more and make us a destination and make the entire area a destination,” he said. “We’re getting people in the offseason and we know they’re not staying at our place, so we’re pretty sure they’re staying here in Ocean City. We’re lucky to be part of this greater destination.”

EDC Chairman and Ocean City hotelier Michael James agreed an expansion to table games could trigger more offseason business in the resort.

“Studies show table games have really helped the lodging industry,” said James. “Slots alone are really not conducive to overnight stays.”

Meanwhile, the Maryland Video Lottery Commission this week released the October revenue numbers for the state’s three operating casinos and the results were mixed. The state’s three casinos generated $39.6 million in revenue in October, led by Maryland Live, the new juggernaut in Anne Arundel County, which alone garnered $30.6 million.

The Casino at Ocean Downs generated $3.5 million in October, which represents a decrease of $319,285, or roughly eight percent, from October 2011. The $3.5 million generated in October loosely follows a pattern established for the offseason months at the Berlin casino, which is affected by seasonal fluctuations just as all businesses are in the resort area. In September, the Casino at Ocean Downs generated $4.9 million, for example.

In terms of revenue per machine, per day, the Casino at Ocean Downs saw a similar decline from September to October. In September, the facilities 800 machines generated $204.37 per machine, per day. In October, the number dropped to $141.54 per machine, per day. The Casino at Ocean Downs’ contribution to the Education Trust Fund in October came in at roughly $1.7 million. The local impact grant contribution for the month came in at $193,053.

Maryland Approves,Table games, casino in Prince George’s Co.

By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun

12:04 a.m. EST, November 7, 2012

After the most expensive political campaign in Maryland’s history, proponents of a plan to expand the reach and variety of casino gambling in Maryland won a narrow victory.

The measure would allow Maryland casinos to offer table games such as blackjack and roulette, and allow a casino to be built in Prince George’s County.

Shortly before midnight — even as the final votes were being counted — supporters of the ballot question claimed victory and set off fireworks over National Harbor, the most likely site of that casino.

The question was put on the ballot by legislation backed by Gov. Martin O’Malley and passed by the General Assembly in a special session in August. It includes a provision requiring that a majority of Prince George’s County residents approve the measure in order for a casino to open there. Returns from that county showed a solid margin in favor of the measure.

But support for the measure was lagging in most of the Baltimore area, with the exception of the city, where Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was a key backer. Even in Baltimore, the margin between supporters and opponents was narrow.

Two rival casino companies — MGM Resorts International and Penn National Gaming — poured a total of more than $80 million into the campaign. Overall, the ballot question drew more than $87 million, according to the most recent figures.

MGM, hoping to become the operator of a glittering $800 million “destination resort” casino at National Harbor in Prince George’s County, urged voters to clear the way for its plans by approving Question 7. Penn National, seeing National Harbor as a threat to its flagship casino in Charles Town, W.Va., matched MGM nearly dollar for dollar in its bid to defeat the measure.

While the cost of the campaign was enormous — more than double Maryland’s most expensive gubernatorial race — the stakes for the two companies were many times greater. Gambling industry experts said that over the long term, a National Harbor casino could cost Penn National hundreds of millions of dollars while MGM could earn billions at National Harbor.

In their ad campaigns, the casino companies cloaked their interests in arguments over what would be best for Maryland. MGM-sponsored ads promised thousands of jobs and about $200 million a year in additional money for education. Penn National’s ads charged that the plan was hatched by politicians in a back-room deal with no guarantee that schools would benefit.

Last night, supporters of the measure gathered at National Harbor to watch nervously as the returns trickled in.

At about 10 p.m. former Prince George’s County Executive Wayne K. Curry, who led a get-out-the-vote effort on behalf of Question 7, said that “it’s a little too early for me to be smiling but I can fake it.”

Earlier in the day, current County Executive Rushern Baker warned that failure of the measure could lead to drastic budget cuts and force layoffs of country workers.

Though the gambling expansion was backed heavily by O’Malley and other state Democratic leaders, the votes did not reliably follow partisan lines.

Charles Collier, a Romney voter from North Laurel in Howard County, cast his vote in favor of Question 7. “I am all for expanded gambling because the way I look at it, it’s a voluntary tax,” he said.

Amy Alee, an Obama voter who lives near the Maryland Live Casino at Arundel Mills, voted no even though she’s all for table games. Her concern: tax reductions for casino operators, another provision of the new law.

“I don’t think they should get any kind of tax break when we don’t,” she said.

Maryland made its first venture into big-time casino gambling with the General Assembly’s approval in 2007 — ratified by voters the next year — of slot machines at five locations. Three have since opened — at Arundel Mills, Perryville and Ocean Downs.

Two others are in the works, in Baltimore and at Rocky Gap in Western Maryland.

At the insistence of Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Calvert County Democrat, the General Assembly linked two important changes to that program. Table games would be permitted, but only if legislators backed a sixth casino, at a site in Prince George’s County.

With slots already legal, the addition of table games was seen by many lawmakers as a logical step — drawing opposition only from die-hard opponents of gambling. The Prince George’s casino, however, was a deeply divisive proposal.

Copyright © 2012, The Baltimore Sun

Maryland Casinos Generate $39.6 Million in Revenue During October

Maryland Casinos Generate $39.6 Million in Revenue During October

VLT Gaming Revenue – Total

% October 2012 Calendar YTD 2012 Fiscal YTD 2013
Gross Terminal Revenue 100 $39,616,846.60 $289,467,358.61 $175,205,693.64
Education Trust Fund 49.25 $19,511,296.95 $140,688,795.29 $85,271,887.76
Casino Operators 33 $13,073,559.40 $95,524,228.46 $57,817,878.95
Purse Dedication 7 $2,773,179.27 $20,262,715.09 $12,264,398.55
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $2,178,926.57 $15,920,704.73 $9,636,313.16
Race Tracks Facility Renewal Account 1.75 $693,294.81 $6,939,557.62 $4,083,015.99
Maryland Lottery 2 $792,336.90 $5,789,347.05 $3,504,113.82
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $594,252.70 $4,342,010.37 $2,628,085.41

VLT Gaming Revenue – Hollywood Casino Perryville

% October 2012 Calendar YTD 2012 Fiscal YTD 2013
Gross Terminal Revenue 100 $5,478,126.40 $87,231,216.53 $24,878,865.35
Education Trust Fund 49.25 $2,697,977.25 $42,348,225.97 $12,107,335.64
Casino Operator 33 $1,807,781.74 $28,786,301.50 $8,210,025.58
Purse Dedication 7 $383,468.85 $6,106,185.15 $1,741,520.57
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $301,296.95 $4,797,716.90 $1,368,337.59
Race Tracks Facility Renewal Account 1.75 $95,867.21 $2,139,694.46 $580,885.68
Maryland Lottery 2 $109,562.50 $1,744,624.30 $497,577.31
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $82,171.90 $1,308,468.25 $373,182.98

VLT Gaming Revenue – Casino at Ocean Downs

% October 2012 Calendar YTD 2012 Fiscal YTD 2013
Gross Terminal Revenue 100 $3,510,068.83 $43,268,013.83 $19,840,177.66
Education Trust Fund 49.25 $1,728,708.90 $21,011,312.23 $9,648,811.68
Casino Operator 33 $1,158,322.73 $14,278,444.63 $6,547,258.65
Purse Dedication 7 $245,704.82 $3,028,760.96 $1,388,812.43
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $193,053.79 $2,379,740.77 $1,091,209.78
Race Tracks Facility Renewal Account 1.75 $61,426.20 $1,055,374.83 $469,678.92
Maryland Lottery 2 $70,201.36 $865,360.21 $396,803.53
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $52,651.03 $649,020.20 $297,602.67

VLT Gaming Revenue – Maryland LIVE

% October 2012 Calendar YTD 2012 Fiscal YTD 2013
Gross Terminal Revenue 100 $30,628,651.37 $158,968,128.25 $130,486,650.63
Education Trust Fund 49.25 $15,084,610.80 $77,329,257.09 $63,515,740.44
Casino Operator 33 $10,107,454.93 $52,459,482.33 $43,060,594.72
Purse Dedication 7 $2,144,005.60 $11,127,768.98 $9,134,065.55
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $1,684,575.83 $8,743,247.06 $7,176,765.79
Race Tracks Facility Renewal Account 1.75 $536,001.40 $3,744,488.33 $3,032,451.39
Maryland Lottery 2 $612,573.04 $3,179,362.54 $2,609,732.98
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $459,429.77 $2,384,521.92 $1,957,299.76

 

Sewer line to run from Ocean Downs beneath creek to Pines

NANCY POWELL ¦ Staff Writer

(Sept. 7, 2012) The Casino at Ocean Downs and anything else built on the property will have its wastewater treated by the Ocean Pines wastewater treatment plant.

The Worcester County Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to create the Ocean Downs Sanitary Area so it can receive sewer service by contract from the Ocean Pines. They also agreed to designate the parcel as being immediately eligible for sewer service.

Most of the Ocean Downs property is zoned for agriculture, but some is zoned for commercial uses. All its 166 acres will be served by the Ocean Pines wastewater treatment plant.

The property now has eight septic systems. Instead of using those septic systems, the wastewater will travel through a force main to be installed beneath Turville Creek. It will exit at the county boat ramp on Gum Point Road and will continue in the county right-of-way to developer Marvin Steen’s property. It will enter Ocean Pines through an easement granted by Steen on his property to King Richard Road.

That road must be torn up to install the 6-inch diameter pipe, but the entire road will have an overlay at the completion of the work, said John Ross, deputy director of the Department of Public Works.

During construction, there will be some inconvenience to King Richard Road residents, but the “trenches will be closed every day,” Ross said. “We’ll do everything we can to make sure they can get in and out of their houses.”

The force main to the Ocean Pines collection system will provide capacity for the connections from the Greater Ocean Pines Sanitary Planning Area to the force main crossing Gum Point Road. This will provide a collection point for unconnected properties in the Greater Ocean Pines Sanitary Planning Area from Taylorville on Route 589 to the Gum Point Road properties to connect to public sewer.

Although William Rickman, owner of the Casino at Ocean Downs, might like the work to be done as soon as possible, it is not ready to start.

“It will be a few months until we get approvals,” Ross said.

Plans call for Rickman’s property to have an initial allocation of 63 units of wastewater treatment capacity. Those units would serve the existing facilities. Rickman has asked for a maximum capacity of 333 units of treatment. With the additional units of capacity, such uses as the proposed bowling alley, movie theater, future potential expansion of the casino facilities and other potential improvements could be accommodated, Environmental Programs Director Robert Mitchell said.

Rickman is funding all needed improvements for the connection to the Ocean Pines collection system.

The Ocean Pines wastewater treatment plant has adequate available sewer capacity to handle the additional flows because the plant is operating at less than 50 percent of its design capacity.

The county commissioners’ approvals, which are changes to the county’s comprehensive water and sewer plan, must be approved by the Maryland Department of the Environment before work may proceed.

August Casino At Ocean Downs Revenue Up 24% Over Last August

 

The Casino at Ocean Downs generated $5,670,704.34 slots revenue in August, and its gross gaming revenue per machine per day was $228.66. The Casino at Ocean Downs’ August 2012 revenue increased by $1,108,169.22 or 24.3% from August 2011.  The Casino at Ocean Downs operates 800 machines.

VLT Gaming Revenue – Total

  % August 2012 Calendar YTD 2012 Fiscal YTD 2013
Gross Terminal Revenue 100 $44,634,809.25 $206,951,428.24 $92,689,763.27
Education Trust Fund 48.5 $21,647,882.48 $100,371,442.71 $44,954,535.18
Casino Operators 33 $14,729,487.05 $68,293,971.37 $30,587,621.86
Purse Dedication 7 $3,124,436.64 $14,486,599.95 $6,488,283.41
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $2,454,914.51 $11,382,328.55 $5,097,936.98
Race Tracks Facility Renewal Account 2.5 $1,115,870.23 $5,173,785.72 $2,317,244.09
Maryland Lottery 2 $892,696.20 $4,139,028.53 $1,853,795.30
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $669,522.14 $3,104,271.41 $1,390,346.45

VLT Gaming Revenue – Hollywood Casino Perryville

  % August 2012 Calendar YTD 2012 Fiscal YTD 2013
Gross Terminal Revenue 100 $6,516,421.35 $75,760,514.01 $13,408,162.83
Education Trust Fund 48.5 $3,160,464.35 $36,743,849.30 $6,502,958.97
Casino Operator 33 $2,150,419.05 $25,000,969.64 $4,424,693.72
Purse Dedication 7 $456,149.49 $5,303,235.97 $938,571.39
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $358,403.17 $4,166,828.26 $737,448.95
Race Tracks Facility Renewal Account 2.5 $162,910.53 $1,894,012.85 $335,204.07
Maryland Lottery 2 $130,328.44 $1,515,210.28 $268,163.29
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $97,746.32 $1,136,407.71 $201,122.44

VLT Gaming Revenue – Casino at Ocean Downs

  % August 2012 Calendar YTD 2012 Fiscal YTD 2013
Gross Terminal Revenue 100 $5,670,704.34 $34,852,956.43 $11,425,120.26
Education Trust Fund 48.5 $2,750,291.60 $16,903,683.87 $5,541,183.32
Casino Operator 33 $1,871,332.42 $11,501,475.66 $3,770,289.68
Purse Dedication 7 $396,949.30 $2,439,706.94 $799,758.41
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $311,888.74 $1,916,912.61 $628,381.62
Race Tracks Facility Renewal Account 2.5 $141,767.61 $871,323.92 $285,628.01
Maryland Lottery 2 $113,414.10 $697,059.09 $228,502.41
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $85,060.57 $522,794.34 $171,376.81

VLT Gaming Revenue – Maryland LIVE

  % August 2012 Calendar YTD 2012 Fiscal YTD 2013
Gross Terminal Revenue 100 $32,447,683.56 $96,337,957.80 $67,856,480.18
Education Trust Fund 48.5 $15,737,126.53 $46,723,909.54 $32,910,392.89
Casino Operator 33 $10,707,735.58 $31,791,526.07 $22,392,638.46
Purse Dedication 7 $2,271,337.85 $6,743,657.04 $4,749,953.61
Local Impact Grants 5.5 $1,784,622.60 $5,298,587.68 $3,732,106.41
Race Tracks Facility Renewal Account 2.5 $811,192.09 $2,408,448.95 $1,696,412.01
Maryland Lottery 2 $648,953.66 $1,926,759.16 $1,357,129.60
Small, Minority, and
Women-Owned Business
1.5 $486,715.25 $1,445,069.36 $1,017,847.20

Slots Casino At Ocean Downs Seeks To Replace Septic

Written by Jeremy Cox Staff Writer

 OCEAN PINES — Assateague Coastkeeper Kathy Phillips can’t say exactly what caused the foul smell and elevated levels of sewage-loving bacteria in Turville Creek during a handful of days earlier this month.

But of this, she is certain: The waterway would be much healthier without the septic tanks at Ocean Downs and the homes along Gum Point Road.

In that regard, local officials and environmentalists like Phillips are rooting for the racetrack and casino’s latest construction proposal: a 6-inch-wide pipe that will carry sewage to a wastewater plant in Ocean Pines.

Like many rural Maryland properties, the venue uses a septic system and drain field to treat its wastewater. But its demand far outpaces most; last year, Ocean Downs drew 77,000 visitors.

“The racetrack and casino are right there on the water,” said Worcester County Commissioner Judy Boggs, whose district includes the facility. “And with the horses and everything else there and the potential for a theater and the bowling alley, it’s the worst place possible for a septic (system).”

Ocean Enterprises 589 LLC, which owns the venue, has announced plans for a movie theater and bowling alley to accompany its harness racing track and slots. The company didn’t make a representative available for comment Wednesday or Thursday for this report.

Horses have raced at Ocean Downs since 1949; gambling was added in 2011.

Worcester County’s planning board gave its blessing to the pipeline in July. The matter is set to go before the County Commission on Tuesday.

Adding Ocean Downs’ sewage would contribute an additional 18,000 gallons of wastewater a day at the Ocean Pines Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant currently operates at roughly half of its 2.5 million gallon capacity, so it should easily handle the extra effluent, said Robert Mitchell, Worcester’s director of environmental programs.

Plans call for using a directional drill to lay the force main 10 feet below the bottom of Turville Creek. It would reach the north side of the creek at an existing boat ramp on Gum Point Road, providing access to a sewer line for the homes that line the road, Mitchell said.

The Ocean Downs project doesn’t include linking those homes to the main, but officials may apply for state funding in the future to replace their septic tanks with sewer connections, he added.

Phillips has reservations about the project, she said, because it may encourage more development in the area. But she’d like to see anything that improves the quality of Turville Creek’s water.

Water samples collected by Phillips on Aug. 2 and 9 showed high levels of enterococci, bacteria found in the guts of humans and animals, at several points downstream from the casino, she said.

“This does not necessarily point to the racetrack,” she said. “Every household down Gum Point Road is on septic, and a number of those septic systems are very old.”

Pechanga.Net ~ Your Internet News Resource for Maryland Gaming & Gambling In The Nation

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Commercial Property ~ Steer Inn Tavern For Sale Located Near The Casino At Ocean Downs

 

Super location for a spacious Turn Key Tavern previously known as the Steer Inn Tavern. Price includes kitchen and bar equipment, & dining room furniture, TV’s. etc. (Pool tables are leased). Plenty of parking. Great signage and busy highway frontage exposure. Price asking is $97,500 plus $4000/month lease NNN. This business is part of a well maintained 3 building business complex, on 2.77 acres available for sale. The other two (3200 sq. ft.office buildings)are currently leased. Only ½ mile from the Casino at Ocean Downs. Property is Zoned C-2, with 8 EDU’s. Possible development includes a motel, retail or fast food restaurant, etc.

For Additional Info ……call PECK MILLER

St. Pat's Party 2012

Table Games Referendum Coming In November — Will You Vote Yes To Expanded Gambling?

Slots Group Discuss Proposed Gambling Changes

8/17/2012 | By Staff Writer, Travis Brown

SNOW HILL — After a General Assembly special session this month proposed changes to Maryland’s gambling regulations, the Worcester County Local Development Council (LDC) went to work yesterday trying to understand exactly what the new rules will mean. 

While the changes received general support from the LDC, some did question what kind of impact loosening restrictions on casinos could have for the entertainment industry. All decisions made during the special session will be included as a referendum question for Maryland voters in November. 

“It’s actually going to be great, in my opinion, for Worcester County,” said Delegate Mike McDermott (R-38B). 

McDermott admitted that he was “really reluctant” to enter into an August special session, which was the second this year following the conclusion of the regular session in April and the first special session in May. Despite his reservations, McDermott told the LDC that he was satisfied with the legislation that the assembly was able to produce this month, especially given all of the roadblocks the discussion over gambling hit in the regular and first special sessions. 

Included in the new law will be provisions for table games, a sixth casino location in Prince George’s County, some financial restructuring and entertainment changes. The tax rate for the Casino at Ocean City is also dropping from 67 to 57 percent, while the share of gross revenue is going up from 33 to 43 percent. 

Additionally, under the new legislation, Worcester will receive an annual $200,000 grant from the state that comes without earmarks and the 18 percent of local impact money made by Ocean Downs that is re-directed to Baltimore City and Prince George’s County will cease when those areas get their own casinos, expected within the next few years. 

The changes are expected to help casinos, like Ocean Downs, that are struggling to make a profit. 

“It was a very, very good bill,” said State Senator Jim Mathias (D-38B). 

As arduous as the process has been, Mathias told the LDC that he was satisfied with where it all landed and is eager to see how the aspects of the bill that are up for public referendum are viewed by voters. 

“Now, where it is, it’s in the most important place, which is the hands of the voter,” he said. 

Mathias also commented on the bi-partisan support that the bill eventually saw, drawing in proponents from both sides of the aisle this session and culminating in a piece of legislature that benefitted from numerous points of view. 

“Success has a lot of parents; failure is an orphan,” he quipped, stressing that this was “a successful bill.” 

McDermott agreed and though he admitted to rarely agreeing with Gov. Martin O’Malley’s policies, he said that all parties involved in the gambling legislation “were really open.” 

“It’s politics up there but they’re always looking for opportunity,” he said. 

Not everyone viewed the results of the session as favorably, however. During a stop in Worcester to promote Tax Free Week last Thursday, State Comptroller Peter Franchot bashed the new legislation, calling the events and end result of the August special session “one-half step from corrupt.” 

“I’m particularly concerned with the process,” said Franchot, who claimed that “casino moguls have tentacles” in Annapolis and played a bigger part than they should have in shaping the newest bill. 

A small group of special interests took the reins with the bill, he continued, and helped guide a series of changes that were shocking and biased. 

“It’s just damn unfair and I’m telling you, as your comptroller, that the special session was a disgrace,” said Franchot. 

In reference to casino tax rates dropping, he took a stern view of the current gambling situation, saying that the “tax cuts [were] for companies that didn’t need it.” And, despite Mathias and McDermott talking up the cooperation in forging the bill, Franchot blasted O’Malley and his allies for keeping everything, in his opinion, behind closed doors. 

“We’re all on the outside looking in,” said Franchot. 

Franchot ended his comments on a note of concern over what loosening entertainment guidelines for state casinos will mean for competition with established operations, like those in Ocean City. He specifically mentioned amusement parks as a possibility at the casino grounds. 

“What are we doing now: competing with the Boardwalk with all four feet,” he said. 

Though he praised some parts of the bill, Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan did voice some similar worries over what new privileges in entertainment the new changes will mean for casinos. Under the bill, casinos will have a lot more wiggle room in regards to what they are allowed to provide. Previously, Ocean Downs was only allowed to host live fireworks shows and a single piano player. 

This was part of their agreement not to compete with Ocean City as an amusement and entertainment destination. Now, they’ll be able to feature any entertainment they’d like, presumably as long as it is allowed and approved by the Board of License Commissioners (BLC). 

Meehan stated that such a limitation was fair as it provided “a level playing field for everybody.” However, he was concerned that language in the new bill wasn’t clear enough on exactly who would control what kinds of entertainment would be allowed at casinos and that state authority might trump the BLC’s. 

To address Meehan and the council’s concerns, the BLC will be asked to send a representative to the LDC’s next meeting in November to discuss how entertainment at casinos will work and how much will be regulated under Ocean Downs’ liquor license.

 

General Assembly OKs Casino Bill ~ 6th Casino & Table Games Such As Blackjack and Roulette Goes To Voters In November

By Annie Linskey and Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun

12:43 a.m. EDT, August 15, 2012

Key provisions of bill

•Allows a sixth casino in Maryland, to be in Prince George’s County

•Permits table games with live dealers at all state casinos

•Cuts tax rates on slots at all current casinos except Rocky Gap

•Bars any person or company that owns more than 5 percent of a casino from making political contributions

•Sends the measure to voters for approval or defeat in November

The Maryland General Assembly gave final approval to Gov. Martin O’Malley’s gambling bill early Wednesday morning, agreeing to allow table games and a sixth casino in the state while also giving new tax breaks to casino owners.

See Story…….Baltimore Sun

Senate Bill 1

Entitled:

Gaming Expansion – Video Lottery Terminals and Table Games – Lottery Machines – Veterans’ Organizations

Maryland. panel passes gambling bill

  • BRIAN WITTE | Associated Press – Fri, Aug 10, 2012 ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) —

 

A Maryland Senate committee voted 11-1 on Thursday to allow table games like blackjack and a casino site near the nation’s capital, moving swiftly on the first day of a special session to expand gambling in the state.

The vote paves the way Friday for the full Senate to take up the bill backed by Gov. Martin O’Malley.

The bill would allow a new casino in Prince George’s County, where it could open in 2016 with 3,000 slot machines. The measure calls for a competitive bidding process that could include proposals for National Harbor and Rosecroft Raceway. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, who has pushed for the casino to be built at National Harbor, said the additional site would generate needed money for the county and the state.

“We think this is a win-win for the county but more importantly for the state,” Baker, a Democrat, told the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.

The owners of “Maryland Live,” the state’s largest casino in Anne Arundel County, say the Prince George’s site would badly damage its business. Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold testified against the bill.

“This additional site will be a boa constrictor that will squeeze the life out of Maryland Live,” said Leopold, a Republican.

William Rickman, owner of the struggling Ocean Downs casino on the Eastern Shore, expressed support for the measure, which would raise the casino’s proceeds from 33 percent to 43 percent of its gross revenues. He noted that his casino near Ocean City lost $2.25 million in its first year.

“We need relief now,” Rickman said.

Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of Nevada-based MGM Resorts, talked about his hopes of building an $800 million complex at National Harbor, where he said 2,000 construction jobs and 4,000 permanent jobs would be created by the resort.

Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters, D-Prince George’s, asked Murren about a finding by New Jersey regulators that MGM’s business partner in a casino in the Chinese enclave of Macau is “unsuitable” because of her father’s reputed connection to Asian organized crime.

Murren said allegations relating to Pansy Ho — MGM’s business partner — are not true. He said MGM simply decided to settle with New Jersey, and he noted MGM is in good standing in Mississippi, Illinois, Michigan and Nevada, where the company has casinos.

“We patently disagree with that point of view,” Murren said of the finding by New Jersey regulators. “It’s factually incorrect, and I think it offends not only myself but the other 62,000 people that provide for their families that work for our company.”

To offset lost business to a new casino, the measure would allocate 5 percent of additional casino proceeds to Maryland Live and a planned one in Baltimore, which Caesars Entertainment has a license to build. Maryland’s current 67 percent tax on casino proceeds is unusually high. The money would have to be spent on advertising and capital improvements.

“This is money that the state is replacing because we have introduced a new competitor to them, and it’s revenue they would have been getting were it not for the state’s decision to add that new competitor, so no one should come away with a notion that somehow this is some giveaway to some corporate interest,” said Joseph Bryce, the governor’s chief legislative officer.

In addition, the measure would allow the state’s larger casinos to receive an additional 6 percent of gambling proceeds, if they buy or lease their slot machines. The state now must own or lease the expensive machines.