Just a few miles west of Ocean City, the newly opened Casino at Ocean Downs in Berlin, with 750 slot machines, will obviously appeal to those who enjoy trying their luck. But it may also amuse the bored on a rainy day and serve as an alternative for those sand-hating, sun-weary family members who get dragged to the beach each year (and you know who you are).
Small by industry standards, the $45 million, 34,000-square-foot facility has no dealer tables, which remain illegal in Maryland. But several innovative games, such as a virtual blackjack and electronic roulette, create the illusion of tables. Some of the slot machines can handle high rollers, but dabblers who prefer the penny slots won't be disappointed. And for those who like the ponies, Ocean Downs's live harness racing - in its 62nd year - will continue this summer on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday between June 19 and Aug. 28 with a 7 p.m. post time. Simulcast racing is also televised daily, and the casino has a fast-food style eatery and a restaurant.
-- Carol Sottili (May 27, 2011)