MGM National Harbor Heads Maryland's Casino Market in January

Maryland’s casinos generated revenues of $126.2 million in January, up by a whopping 42.8% compared to the same month in 2016. Helping to grow the industry was the state’s newest casino resort, MGM National Harbor, although the overall revenues still fell short of the record $133.5 million collected in December 2016, despite the MGM having only been opened on the 8th of that month.
Accounting for the discrepancy is the fact MGM National Harbor appears to have overtaken the state’s previous biggest money spinner, Maryland Live, by cannibalizing some of the business of the casino located just 29 miles away. Consequently, MGM National Harbor generated revenues of $48.8 million in January, while Maryland Live saw its business decline by 15.6% to $44 million over the same period.
Maryland Live has now seen its revenues decline for the second month in a row since MGM National Harbor opened its doors, although analysts have said that the impressive uptick in the state’s overall revenues still suggests that the market has still got plenty of room for growth. As James Karmel, Harford Community College history professor and casino analyst, explains:
“It does add credibility to observers who said MGM would grow the revenue, not just take away from existing casinos. That kind of vindicates the 2012 referendum to add another casino.”
In the meantime, Maryland’s smaller casino operations saw their revenues largely unaffected by the state’s sixth casino, with the Rocky Gap Casino Resort up by 11.8% to $3.7 million, and Hollywood Casino Perryville higher by 4.6% to $5.8 million. The Casino at Ocean Downs, on the other hand, reported a slight 1.2% revenue drop to $3.7 million, while the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore saw its business decrease by 14.5% to $20.2 million compared to January 2016. Commenting on the results, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director, Gordon Medenica, stated:
“Given the intense spotlight on the opening of MGM National Harbor, the December numbers for Maryland’s other casinos are in line with our expectations, and we’re pleased to see the [month-on-month] increases at Ocean Downs, Rocky Gap and especially Horseshoe.”

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