The first gaming machines are being installed in The Quarter at the Tropicana Casino and Resort, the initial phase of a test run that if successful could see gaming expanded to additional areas in the shopping and dining location.

Two $5 and $10 blackjack machines were stationed in front of the fountain in the open plaza section of The Quarter, in front of restaurants Cuba Libre and Red Square. Eight penny slots will be added along the wall and staircase, said Tropicana President and CEO Tony Rodio. The machines are expected to be ready for gaming beginning Friday.

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The initial reviews by passers-by, however, were mainly negative.

"I think it's out of place," said Joe Renders of Toms River. Marie Dugan of Ocean City walked by Rodio to say that "You're spoiling the ambience of The Quarter! I don't agree with what you're doing."

Betty Carpenter of Pringle, Pa., meanwhile, said the addition of the machines was "great."

"Everyone passes through here," she said. "And it's so pretty now too, especially with the holidays."


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