The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission will let Rocky Gap Casino Resort add 54 slot machines as well as create an outdoor gambling space.
Further commission actions include an approval of a merger between the casino owners, Lakes Entertainment Inc. and a unit of Sartini Gaming, Inc., of Las Vegas, Golden Gaming.
With regulatory approval the merger should be completed before 2016. A new publicly traded company, Golden Entertainment Inc. would then own Rocky Gap Casino.
Rocky Gap Casino Resort announced its plans to seek regulator approval for 54 more slot machines. The Cumberland, Maryland casino also requested approval to add a new outdoor gambling section. On June 17, 2015, Cumberland met with the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission stating the added slots would increase the casinos total to 631 slot machines. Maryland has scaled back on slot machine approval.
The casino stated 24 of the new machines would be placed on the casino floor, while 30 would be added to the outdoor area. The documents provided to the gaming commission did not include cost estimates for the outdoor space construction.
Scott Just, the casino general manager, did not make any comments to the media after the meeting. The gaming commission stated they did recommend approving another proposal, which is a merger between Lakes Entertainment and Las Vegas’s Golden Gaming. The merger is $128 million. Rocky Gap is Lake Entertainment’s principal asset. Lake Entertainment purchased Rocky Gap in 2012 for $6.8 million. Prior to the purchase Rocky Gap was in trouble. After Lakes Entertainment purchased Rocky Gap from the state it opened a casino worth $35 million there in 2013.
The casino has 17 table games. The tables generated $4.2 million last month, which was an increase of 12.7% from May 2014. Rocky Gap wants to increase the slots because other casinos have reduced their offerings.
Horseshoe Baltimore and Maryland Live spoke to the commission and received approval to reduce their slot machines by 300 slot machines, but add more table games.