Maryland Casinos Set a New Record of $158m in October

MGM National Harbor

In October, Maryland’s casino market reached new heights after generating $158 million in revenue, marking a huge 19% increase compared to the same month a year ago. Furthermore, the feat was accomplished despite one-third of its casinos seeing their year-on-year revenues decline.

The Free State subsequently collected $61 million by way of gambling taxes, with $45.5 million going towards the Maryland’s Education Trust Fund. The rest is earmarked for other programs supporting local communities, businesses and the horse racing industry, although that will soon change after residents this week voted for all the funds to now be devoted to schools.

MGM Pushing Revenues Higher

Last month, statewide slots revenue totaled $88.2 million, higher by $5 million from last year, while table games produced the more stellar result with its revenue soaring to $69.7 million from $50 million in October 2017.

The $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor soon became the state’s biggest money earner after opening its doors in December 2016. Even by the casino resort’s high standards, though, its revenue increase in October was exponential, with its business soaring by 41.4% year-on-year to $73.4 million. Not only is that a new record for MGM National Harbor, beating its previous best of $62.3 million, but it means that it commanded almost half the state’s casino revenues last month.

Needless to say, MGM was responsible for much of the overall gains reported in October. While its slots operation had a good month and rose by nearly $3 million to $30 million, table games, on the other hand, surged to $43.4 million compared to $24.8 million from the same month a year earlier.

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Maryland’s Other Casinos

In the meantime, Live! Casino & Hotel, the state’s second biggest venue, posted a 2.6% year-on-year gain to $47 million. Helping its figures along was a minor slots gain, which helped to offset its slide in table revenue to $14.2 million, lower by $2.3 million from a year ago.

Also reporting growth was Horseshoe Casino Baltimore up by 7.6% to $21 million, and Oceans Downs Casino higher by 15.8% at $6.1 million. On the flip side, Hollywood Casino Perryville saw its revenue drop by 1.4% to $5.85 million, while Rocky Gap Casino Resort fell by 3.8% to $4.5 million.

Maryland’s Hot Casino Market

Maryland’s casino market is on track for a record year after posting year-on-year gains for every month of 2018 so far. This follows a stunning 2017 in which it saw its revenue rocket by 34.6% to $1.6 billion, making it the country’s fastest growing casino market. By contrast, the nation’s average gaming revenue growth was around just 3.4% in 2017.

Once again, MGM National Harbor was responsible for much of the growth. Meanwhile, neighboring West Virginia suffered the country’s biggest annual decline of 4.6%, also due to MGM poaching West Virginian customers situated along the Maryland border.

Ballot Approves Education Fund Exclusivity

Results are now in from the Maryland ballot held this week, with state voters approving of all the tax money earned from casinos going exclusively towards the Education Trust Fund. Proponents for the amendment had argued that extra funding for schools and education was desperately needed as resources were currently overstretched. Opponents, on the other hand, warned that it would divert money away from other equally important programs, such as hospitals, infrastructure, and mental health.

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Nevertheless, the ayes carried the day, with revenues from commercial casino gaming and video lottery operation licenses now earmarked for the pre-kindergarten through to 12th grade education system. The new funding arrangement will go into effect starting in the 2020 fiscal year, and will subsequently be included in the state’s annual budget.

Previously, the Education Trust Fund received 48.5% of all funds. The programs which will now will lose their fund allocations includes Purse Dedication (7%); Local Impact Grants (5.5%); Race Tracks Facility Renewal Account (2.5%); Maryland Lottery (2%); and Small, Minority, and Women-Owned Business (1.5%).