Maryland Casinos Post 7% Revenue Gain in September

Maryland Casinos Post 7% Revenue Gain in September

Maryland’s casino market has posted year-on-year gains for every month of the year so far. Furthermore, September’s result has kept the positive run going, with the $143.7 million generated last month up by 6.9% versus the $134.5 million collected in September 2017. While Maryland’s gaming revenue last month was the fourth-best ever recorded in the state, the figure, however, was still 1.8% down on the $146.3 million reported for the previous month by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming agency.

In September, slot machines contributed $93.6 million to the overall numbers compared to $86.2 million in September 2017, while table games reaped $46.3 million versus the $44.6 million they brought in last year.

Tax Collection

The First State collected $60.4 million in gambling taxes for September, almost half of which was allocated to the Education Trust Fund. The remaining casino gaming taxes were used to support a number of other programs, including local communities, businesses and the horse racing industry.

Market Analysis

The MGM National Harbor has ruled Maryland’s casino market since opening its doors for business in the last month of 2016. The $1.4 billion integrated resort subsequently collected $54.4 million from gamblers in September, representing a 10.3% improvement compared to the same month a year ago. While MGM National Harbor accounted for 40% of all casino revenue last month, Live! Casino & Hotel, its nearest competitor situated just 29 miles, was not too far behind with a 35% share of the market worth $50.3 million. That number was also higher by 7.1% year-on-year.

Unfortunately, Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino has suffered terribly since the MGM National Harbor launched its business 42 miles away, and last month it was the state’s only venue to post a year-on-year decline. In September, the casino saw its revenue fall by 1.6% to $20.7 million, meaning it has now reported growth for just two months out of the past twenty, namely in May and June of this year in which revenue rose by +2% and +3.3% respectively.

Meanwhile, all the state’s smaller operations returned year-on-year gains. Leading the way was Ocean Downs Casino, whose revenue soared by 13.9% to $7.5 million; followed by Hollywood Casino Perryville up by 5.8% to $6.3 million; and Rocky Gap Casino Resort, which noted a slight 1.3% improvement to $4.6 million last month.

Fastest Growing Casino Market

In 2017, Maryland’s casino industry generated $1.61 billion in revenue, up by a massive +34.6% compared to the $1.2 billion collected in 2016. That makes it by far the country fastest growing casino market, with next nearest contenders New York (+16.4%) and Oklahoma (+10.2%) a fair distance back.

Helping the state’s casino revenue rise to such impressive gains is MGM National Harbor, which has become a beacon for gamblers, as well as those people looking to enjoy its many other recreational facilities including theater, shops, restaurants, and bars. The venue located close to Maryland’s border has also successfully managed to poach business from West Virginia, which not so coincidentally saw its casino revenue fall by 4.6% in 2017, making it the biggest decliner of all four states suffering year-on-year contractions.

Sports Betting Option

Nevertheless, West Virginia has given its gambling market a much needed boost recently after joining Nevada, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Delaware in offering the full package of sports wagering options. It would appear pro sports leagues can forget about getting a cut of the proceeds, though, as the West Virginia Lottery Commission has rejected their calls to include integrity fees in its revised betting rules.

Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision to allow individual states to determine their own paths concerning regulated sports betting, however, Maryland, seems content to allow its east coast neighbors time to gain an advantage over it in the legal sports wagering space. Maryland’s efforts to introduce draft legislation have already faltered during the 2018 legislative session, although the issue is likely to be revisited once again in 2019.