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All day gambling at Rocky Gap?

Casino operators at Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort are betting there will be enough demand to let the gambling facility stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission approved the casino’s operating license on Friday, pending the results of a controlled demonstration on May 20.

The casino, at the remote vacation and conference center in Rocky Gap State Park near Cumberland, could open as early as May 22, becoming Maryland’s fourth commercial gambling facility.

The demonstration, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., will be open to the public. State regulators will watch Rocky Gap Casino employees run table games, such as blackjack and poker, and monitor slot machines.

Only Maryland Live Casino at Arundel Mills mall — with more than 4,000 slot machines and north of 120 table games — stays open 24/7 year-round. Smaller casinos in Cecil County and Worcester County have been more selective, closing during off-peak periods.

Scott Just, Rocky Gap Casino’s general manager, said demand was there to justify 24/7 operations. About half of an expected 250 employees have been hired, Just said.

The casino plans to operate 558 slot machines and 10 table games, but Just said more slots or table games could be added to satisfy demand. The casino is authorized to operate up to 1,000 slot machines.

Originally, casino developer Evitts Resort LLC planned to install 800 slot machines in a building separate from the existing 215-room lodge in the state park. But the operator could not get a bank loan for the project, forcing Evitts to amend its plan last summer.

The company is completing a retrofit of conference space in the lodge for the slot machines and table games. New conference space is expected to be completed by November, Just said.

Once Rocky Gap Casino opens, Baltimore’s casino will be the only one OK’d by voters in 2008 that has not opened. A group led by Caesars Entertainment Corp. is building a Horseshoe casino on Russell Street that is expected to open next year.

Bids are due for the state’s sixth casino — to be built in southern Prince George’s County — on May 10. The license for that facility was created by the legislature last August and approved by voters last November.