Maryland Casinos Hit Record $150m Revenues in March

Maryland Casinos Hit Record $150m Revenues in March Maryland’s six casinos generated combined revenues of $150 million in March, beating the previous monthly record of $141.1 million set in March of 2017. As a result, the state has posted three consecutive months of gains for the first quarter of 2018, including revenues rising by 1.2% in January, 6% in February, and now 6.3% in March. Commenting upon the market’s impressive performance, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director Gordon Medenica, stated:
“We are incredibly proud of the performance of Maryland’s casino industry,” said in a release. “We thank the thousands of players and customers.”
Maryland legalized casino gambling in 2008, with the Hollywood Casino Perryville being the first venue to open in the state a couple of years later. Gambling proceeds collected by the state subsequently go towards funding a number of good causes, including the Maryland Education Trust Fund, the horse-racing industry, and various local government programs.
Market Breakdown
All of Maryland’s casinos, with the exception of the Horseshoe Baltimore, posted year-on-year growth in March. Leading the way in terms of revenue was MGM National Harbor, whose 2,692 slots and 173 table games operation collected a record $60.4 million in March, higher by 17.9% from a year earlier, and besting the casino’s previous high hit last December of $56.6 million.
Live! Casino, on the other hand, despite offering 3,747 slots and 186 table games, continues to play second fiddle to MGM National Harbor, and last month generated 0.9% more business at $24.8 million; followed by the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, with the $24.8 million it collected from its 2,100 slots and 175 table games down by 7.8% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, the state’s smaller operations, the Horseshoe Casino Perryville, Ocean Downs Casino, and Rocky Gap Casino Resort, generated a combined $17.7 million between them, with their year-over-year revenue growth higher by 2.4%, 26.2%, and 0.5% respectively.
Fall Out From MGM
Live! Casino
The MGM National Harbor opened its doors in December, 2016, with those casinos located closest to the $1.4 billion integrated resort subsequently suffering most from its operation, namely Live! Casino, and Horseshoe Casino Perryville.
In March, MGM posted a 0.9% revenue gain, meaning for the first quarter of 2018 its GGR has reached $137.56 million, or around 0.5% more than the same period of time last year.In 2017, the property also produced a total GGR of $545 million, or $108 million less than in 2016, with the venue currently expanding its facilities in order to combat
any future damages. Consequently, Maryland Live is in the process of spending $200 million on improvements, including a new hotel wing, restaurant, parking spaces, and a 1,500-seat concert venue.
Horseshoe Baltimore
The Horseshoe Casino Baltimore has also been hit hard, with its first quarter GGR of $65.86 million lower by almost 5% compared to Q1 in 2017, and revenues dipping by 8% for the whole of 2017. The Caesars Entertainment owned property faces further challenges from Baltimore’s increasingly violent reputation, with USA Today recently calling it the nation’s most dangerous big city after recording 342 homicides in 2017. As State Sen. Bill Ferguson, representing the district of South Baltimore, commented:
“I am concerned if we don’t find a way to improve the ongoing safety and attractiveness of Baltimore City in the years ahead. The level of concern I have for the casino is the same as for the small businesses in Fells Point or Federal Hill or Westport.”
Nevertheless, the Horseshoe Baltimore has set its sights on improving the area between itself and the football stadium, baseball park, and Inner Harbor sightseeing hub, with the intention of turning the area into the “next great entertainment district”. As a result, Caesars has recently spent millions purchasing nearby properties, including acquiring an old warehouse situated between Horseshoe and M&T Bank Stadium for $4.8 million, and the purchasing of a nearby office building for $3.2 million. Encouragingly, others investors have also been scouting the neighborhood with the same vision in mind.

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