Casino – OCEAN DOWNS…has few arms!

Finding little going on around town recently – other than Super Bowl commercial chatter on FB, I decided to allow myself to be encouraged to visit the new Casino – Ocean Downs.  It was an interesting experience…though disappointing upon reflection.  I’m of the age where, having grown up in Baltimore County, summertime visits to Mago Vista Beach (Anne Arundel County) found me with a handful of nickels…anxiously looking forward to pulling the lever on the slot machines to be found there.  Ever hoping for three cherries, one dollar provided an afternoon’s entertainment along with the swimming with friends.

Casino – Ocean Downs…has no arms – levers (although someone has told since I am wrong)…and no bright cherries, bells, lemons or bars.  It turned out to be a huge, noisy room filled with row upon row of lever less, push-button machines with spinning electronic graphics.  There was a distinct absence of the well-remembered, satisfying jingle of coins and pulled lever, ‘clunk’ sounds.  No real dining – only a cafeteria style row of stainless shelves – offering not much.  No live entertainment other than the constant blips and bleeps from the electronic machines.  Only expressionless faces were to be seen – hunched over – some tethered by some sort of I.D. necklace do-dad to the machine in front.  It’s sure no Casino Royale with Sean Connery look-a-likes standing nearby – only folks in light green, sporty, knit shirts to assist.

And, why is it requested that you show your driver’s license to spend a few dollars…I was told it was necessary to obtain gifts and coupons in the mail!  Certainly not wanting to have my small, guilty secret, tallied by any and all public and private agencies, I refused!

Despite refusing the ID request thing, I was allowed to play my $10…and came away with $28.33 (such an odd amount?) and again with that aforementioned pervasive feeling of disappointment.  No matter how attractive the new venue, it seemed a small, sad copy of my concept of a ‘casino’ or FUN.

Ah, but all became clear last night at the regular meeting of the Berlin Maryland Mayor and Council when our Financial Director, Lynn Musgrave reported that the Town was setting up a new separate bank account into which Berlin’s share of the proceeds would be placed.  I suppose that our proximity to the Casino – Ocean Downs may be viewed as a benefit…however, I remain unconvinced!