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Penn National Gaming has received approval from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission to operate 20 table games at its Hollywood Casino in Perryville.

The casino planned to open the blackjack, craps and roulette games Thursday, more than a month before Cordish Cos., owner of Maryland Live! Casino at Arundel Mills mall in Hanover, expects to have such games.

Maryland Live! is eyeing an April 11 opening for 122 table games. Voters in November approved a new law permitting table games at existing slots casinos, subject to lottery commission approval. Penn National, of Wyomissing, Pa., spent $42 million in an effort to defeat the referendum, which also authorized a casino in Prince George’s County.

Both companies are in the process of hiring dealers, supervisors and workers. Maryland Live! has about 1,200 total employees now and plans to double that in the next couple of months, said Carmen Gonzales, a spokeswoman for the casino.

Maryland Live! is looking for people with gambling experience for management positions, but dealers do not need experience, she said. The casino is running a three-month school in affiliation with Anne Arundel Community College at the Marley Station Mall in Glen Burnie with some 860 students.

The casino is not adding space to the existing 160,000-square-foot floor but is building what it calls a two-level, state-of-the-art poker room with 50 poker tables, expected to be completed this summer. Fewer than 10 percent of the slot machines have been removed to make way for the tables, leaving 4,300 slots.

Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort in Cumberland still is on pace to open its casino with 10 table games by June 30. The resort held a job fair recently and has about 250 full- and part-time positions available.

A spokesman for the Casino at Ocean Downs, near Ocean City, could not be reached for comment on its plans for implementing table games.

Maryland Live!, which opened in June, is generating the most income among the three casinos in the state, according to state figures. In January, it posted $35.9 million in revenue, or $244 per day per machine.

Hollywood Casino reported $5.5 million in revenue in January, or $117 per day per machine. Total revenue dropped 44 percent from January 2012.

Ocean Downs generated $2.9 million in revenue in January, or $118 per day per machine. Total revenue dropped 6.5 percent from a year ago.

kshay@gazette.net