July 12 // Defense employees frustrated by furloughs

Some 45,000 civilian employees in Maryland are to be furloughed one day for each of the next 11 weeks to help the Pentagon save $37 billion as required under the controversial spending cuts that began in March. The furloughs will continue through the end of the fiscal year in September. The pay cuts, which will hit as many as 650,000 military employees nationwide, are one of the first tangible impacts from sequestration to reach Maryland, and analysts believe they will almost certainly have some effect on the economy. (Balt. Sun)

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Casino revenue up, but not at Perryville

By and large, Maryland casinos had a good year in fiscal 2013, but some gubernatorial candidates say it is possible the state still could need to rework its gambling laws as the market gets more crowded.Table games were introduced after being approved by voters in November, and the state’s overall gross revenue reached more than $608 million, $76.84 million higher than state estimates. But at Hollywood Casino in Perryville, in Cecil County, gross slots revenue was $76 million, down from $118 million the previous fiscal year. (Gazette)

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Beating down the wall for poker

Maryland Live Casino officials pounded through a wall near the facility's high-stakes slots and table games rooms Thursday, revealing the construction going on inside a 14,800-square-foot addition that will open next month with 52 poker tables. The ceremonial sledge-hammering marked the public introduction of poker director Mike Smith, a 20-year-veteran who has been chatting with area poker players in online forums. (Balt. Sun)

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Washington Co. receives interest from data-warehouse operations looking to move out of D.C.

The “home run” of landing a major government employer is “not in the cards right now” for Washington County, but the area has received considerable interest from data-warehouse operations looking to move out of the federal core of Washington, D.C., according to a local economic development official. (Herald-Mail)

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In Maryland, 2013 is a year of foreclosures, repossessions and auctions

Although foreclosure filings have dropped by 23 percent in the U.S. during the first half of 2013, Maryland has seen eye-popping increases in foreclosures, bank repossessions and auctions. Maryland has 3,662 housing units in foreclosure — one out of every 647 — a 161.7 percent increase over the halfway point of 2012, according to California-based RealtyTrac Inc. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Maryland court ruling favors small businesses

Maryland will remain one of the four states with a legal doctrine favoring small businesses, based on a Maryland Court of Appeals ruling this week. Critics, however, believe the doctrine is unfairly harsh.The doctrine is called contributory negligence, which means if one party is partially at fault for his or her own injuries, then that party can’t win legal damages from someone else, who might also be at fault. Business groups hailed the court’s decision to uphold Maryland’s contributory negligence standard. (Gazette)

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Pepco rate ruling expected Friday

Pepco customers should know Friday if they will have to pay more for electric service. Maryland’s Public Service Commission was scheduled to rule Friday on a request by Pepco, which has more than 789,000 customers in Maryland and Washington, D.C., for new rates that would generate $60.8 million more in revenue and cost the average customer $7.13 more per month. (Gazette)

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Baltimore-area exports set new record 

Merchandise exports from the Baltimore-Towson metropolitan area totaled a record $5.8 billion, an increase of 6 percent or $321 million from 2011 to 2012, according to export data from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. (Daily Record)

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