Casino Expansion Includes 10 Table Games

BERLIN – More details emerged this week in the planned expansion of the Casino at Ocean Downs to accommodate the addition of table games and other amenities.
In August, the Casino at Ocean Downs first appeared on the agenda for the Worcester County Technical Review Committee (TRC) for a proposed expansion of nearly 53,000 square feet, of which about 35,000 square feet would be dedicated to new gaming areas. Also in the plan, which was later approved by the Worcester County Planning Commission, is a back-of-the-house internal mezzanine adjacent to the casino and the Ocean Downs racetrack.
Through the various steps in the planning process, Casino at Ocean Downs officials were somewhat mum on the details of the use of the new space and only hinted at the addition of table games and expanded gaming areas. This week, however, the picture cleared with an official release on the casino’s website about the future plans.
“We are expanding because we were limited to the former footprint of the grandstand to accommodate our original proposed slot casino,” said Casino at Ocean Downs General Manager Joe Cavilla. “The new building will allow us to spread out the existing operation. We will be adding a racing sports restaurant to including simulcast wagering with a view of the racetrack, a very large storage area and larger back-of-the-house operations.”
According to the release, roughly 10 table games will be included, but seasonal staffing logistics and other complex issues need to be resolved before submission for approval to the State Lottery Commission. The casino will move some of its existing 800 machines into the new space to enhance aesthetics and improve player comfort.
The addition could also improve the live racing track experience, according to the release. Ocean Downs conducts a 40-day live racing meet throughout the summer, and since the casino opened in January 2011, the old grandstand areas were modified. The proposed addition will include a new viewing area for the live racing if funding through the Racing Facility Redevelopment Fund (RIFA) is approved by the State Racing Commission.
“We are committed to providing an operation that appeals to and excites our customers, enhances the attraction of the Ocean City-Berlin, Maryland resort area and provides stable revenue for our state and local stakeholders,” said Cavilla. “This small expansion will allow friendlier and service-oriented enhancements and is in the work-in-progress stage of development.”