Ocean Jewel Casino Buys Out Rival - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

The owner of the Ocean Jewel Casino of St. Petersburg on Monday bought out VTM Management Inc., which operated Majesty Casino from Johns Pass in Treasure Island, and will now use the Johns Pass departure site for faster shuttles to the Ocean Jewel.

Titan Cruise Lines, which owns and operates the Ocean Jewel, purchased VTM Management for an undisclosed amount, said Patty McKee, Ocean Jewel marketing director.

The Majesty Casino is out of operation, she said. A phone call to Majesty Casino on Monday was greeted by someone who answered, ``Ocean Jewel,'' and she did not know anyone at VTM Management.

With the merger, gamblers can reach the Ocean Jewel in the Gulf of Mexico from Johns Pass in addition to the downtown St. Petersburg site. The shuttle from Johns Pass will take less than 30 minutes, compared with the 55-minute ride from St. Petersburg, McKee said.

Ocean Jewel Casino also will increase its hours from six days a week to seven days and start 24-hour operations on the weekends. In the past, the Ocean Jewel was closed Tuesdays and shut down at 3 a.m. on weekends.

The casino also will add two new shuttles to its fleet of three catamarans.

``Our goal is provide fast and convenient service. We've been looking for alternative locations. This coastal location is ideal for our operations,'' McKee said of the Johns Pass site.

The Ocean Jewel opened Oct. 22 and attracts 1,200 to 1,500 gamblers a day, McKee said.

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