Maryland’s six casinos continued at a steady pace, generating $169.35 million in gaming revenue in August. That was down from a record-setting July casino revenue in Maryland, when the total hit a high-water mark of $181.5 million.
The six Maryland casinos slipped 6.7% from the previous month, a phenomenon that occurs among some regional casinos when customers might be away on vacation. But the August take was in line with the same month in 2021. Compared to August 2021, casino revenues had an uptick of 0.5%.
It was also relevant that August had one fewer full weekend than July.
Education Trust Fund Benefits Greatly
Casinos in Maryland pay a hefty chunk of their revenues, especially from slot machines, in state taxes. For August, the casino gaming contributions to the state were almost $70.88 million, with about $51.5 million going to the Education Trust Fund. Casino gaming revenues are also spread among the communities and jurisdictions with casinos, plus to Maryland’s horse racing industry, and small, minority- and women-owned businesses.
There are no real money online casinos in Maryland.
As usual, the two biggest revenue generators were MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill and Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover. Combined they accounted for 76% of the overall revenues in August, according to figures from Maryland Lottery and Gaming.
MGM National Harbor, with almost 2,100 slots and 210 table games, had $71.8 million in revenues for August, an increase of 6.5% from August 2021.
Live! Casino & Hotel, with 3,754 slots and 180 table games, had $56.8 million in revenues for August, a decrease of 4.5% from the same month last year.
Figures for the rest of the six casinos were: Horseshoe Baltimore, $17.2 million, down 4.2% from August 2021; Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin, $10.5 million, an increase of 6.8% in a year-over-year comparison; Hollywood Casino in Perryville, $7.2 million, a decrease of 7.4%; and Rocky Gap Casino in Flintstone, about $5.8 million, a 2.1% drop from the same month a year ago.
Rocky Gap is being sold, passing from Golden Entertainment to Century Casinos (for operations) and to VICI Properties (real estate). The total price was $260 million with almost $200 million from VICI, a company that has extensive casino-related holdings.
Maryland Sports Betting Update
So far, Maryland sports gambling is limited to retail operations at five of the casinos and at a bingo facility. A handful of off-track betting facilities have been awarded licenses but haven’t yet started taking bets.
Meanwhile, online sports betting has been mired in delays mostly related to hammering out the details of applications. But the state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission -- one of two tiers in the approval process – announced this week that it was now accepting applications for online licenses for those wishing to be operators for sports betting in Maryland.
There’s still no certain date for the launch of online sports betting, but with Tuesday’s announcement, there is hope that the state could take sports wagers via online/mobile devices in time for the last few weeks of Maryland NFL betting during the 2022 season.