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Ocean City Business Owners Indifferent About Table Games

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Businesses in Ocean City are reacting to the Maryland Senate Committee's vote to allow table games in casinos, including Ocean Downs casino, which is just a few miles outside the resort.

For most business owners in Ocean City, the summer of 2012 has not been a record breaker.

"To sum it up in a word: unpredictable. The spending patterns and the visiting patterns are just unpredictable," says Danny Robinson, who owns five businesses in Ocean City.

He says people are opting for shorter stays this summer, and are increasingly choosing to buy groceries and staying in rather than dining out at local restaurants.

But perhaps surprisingly, there is an overwhelming sense of indifference to the idea of table games coming to the Ocean Downs Casino. That's because Ocean Downs will still not be allowed to serve free drinks to gamblers or have a marquee restaurant, as per the fine print in the law, which has always been the tourism industry's main concern with the idea of a casino on the coast.

Ocean Downs Casino has been fighting for table games and a change in the food and beverage provision to compensate for an estimated $2 million dollar loss in its first year.

Yet, the casino just recorded its best month on record, pulling in more than $5 million in profits in July.

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