Maryland Casino Revenue Up 5.6% to $146M in July

Maryland Casino Revenue Up 5.6% to $146M in July

In July, Maryland’s casino market generated $146.5 million in revenue, marking a 5.6% improvement versus the $138.7 million taken during the same month in 2017. In terms of month-on-month revenues, however, the state’s six casinos saw their business contract for the second straight months since reaching an all-time high of $156.5 million in May.

Maryland subsequently collected $60.5 million in gambling taxes last month, according to the latest Maryland Lottery and Gaming report, with $45.4 million subsequently going towards the Education Trust Fund. Other beneficiaries receiving money includes local communities, veteran organizations, and Maryland’s horse racing industry.

Casino Market

Four of the state’s six casinos posted year-on-year growth in July, with Ocean Downs Casino leading the way after reporting a 34% surge in business to $8.6 million from its 892 slot machines and 18 table games. Next highest growth was returned by MGM National Harbor (2,954 slots, 187 tables), whose revenue spiked by 14.9% at $58.3 million, followed by Rocky Gap Casino Resort (664 slots, 17 tables), up 1.5% at $5.1 million; and finally Live! Casino & Hotel (3,997 slots, 198 tables), which noted a slight 1% increase to $47.7 million compared to the same month last year.

Bucking the trend, however, was the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore whose 2,202 slots machines and 167 table games generated 11.1% less year-on-year revenue at $20.4 million. The Hollywood Casino similarly saw its business decline and posted a 6.7% revenue decrease to $6.2 million from its 822 slots and 22 table games.

MGM National Harbor

The MGM National Harbor (photo) first opened its doors in December 2016, and during its very first full calendar month of operation became the state’s highest earning casino. Its opening, however, has come partially at the expense of Maryland Live Casino and Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino, the nearest venues to the $1.4 billion development.

In July, MGM National Harbor accounted for almost 40% of the Free State’s casino revenues. In addition to wrestling market share away from its nearby competitors, the property also benefit from being situated close to Washington D.C., and being able to draw from its large metropolitan area, which includes the whole of the federal district, as well as parts of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.

MGM National Harbor also benefits from being located in a particularly safe area for tourists to visit, as opposed to Baltimore’s once popular Inner Harbor, which has now gained a reputation for robberies and murders. This has even led the Horseshoe Casino in downtown Baltimore to start buying up nearby land in order to develop the rundown area and make it more inviting to visitors.

Lucrative Industry

Maryland only opened its first casino in 2010, but over the past few years the industry has grown to become a major boon for the state, including providing employment for around 7,700 people. The sector also continues to go from strength to strength and according to results released recently it generated $1.679 billion in revenue for FY2018 , or 18.2% more than the previous financial year.

The state subsequently received a massive $676.7 million in taxes for FY2018, with the Maryland Education Trust Fund receiving almost $500 million of that amount. While other programs also received proceeds from the state’s casino industry, there will be a referendum held in November to decide whether to make the Education Trust the market’s sole beneficiary. Commenting upon the latest FY result and the upcoming referendum, Governor Larry Hogan stated:

“Congratulations to Maryland Lottery and Gaming for an excellent year. The contribution of nearly half a billion dollars to the Education Trust Fund is a tremendous benefit to our state and our schools. We must take action to ensure that these funds supplement and not supplant educational funding, and I urge Maryland voters to support the referendum on the ballot this year to truly create an education lockbox.”