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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Don’t bet on towns to get cut of casino funds

No one can blame Snow Hill and Pocomoke officials for seeking a tiny slice of the Ocean Downs Casino revenue pie, but they will be going against house odds to get it.
It isn’t because those communities wouldn’t be able to make a reasonable argument for a share, because that wouldn’t be too difficult.
Considering that Snow Hill Mayor Charlie Dorman and Pocomoke City Mayor Bruce Morrison are asking for just 1 percent of the total community impact grant that’s now divided between Worcester County, Ocean City, Berlin and Ocean Pines, they’re not talking about that much money — something in the low tens of thousands of dollars.
A good case could be made that even though the casino is between a 30- to 45-minute drive away from those communities, and that the impact of gaming on them is therefore greatly reduced, some cost probably does exist.
Further, if you’re looking at awards of somewhere in the $30,000 range, it’s not too tough to make a connection.
But that’s not the problem. Although Ocean Downs’ revenue has increased every year, it isn’t ballooning and northern Worcester communities aren’t swimming in gambling proceeds.
That’s the critical issue — getting those recipients to give up a portion of their take so Pocomoke City and Snow Hill can have a little something too. The chances of that happening aren’t good.