May was a banner month for Maryland casinos, and almost a record-setting one.
The state’s six commercial casinos combined to take in $178,767,828 in revenue for the month. That was 4.7% higher than the $170.7 million recorded in April and 3.7% better than the $172.4 million from May 2021.
More impressively, last month was the second-best ever for Maryland casino revenue, behind only the $180 million from July 2021.
Of that May total, $114.2 million came from video lottery terminals (VLTs) and $64.5 million derived from table games. Casino contributions to the state surpassed $73.4 million in May, including $53.4 million earmarked for the Education Trust Fund.
Here are three takeaways from the month in Maryland gaming.
Maryland Casino Revenue Breakdown
MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill led the state with nearly $76 million in revenue for May. That was an 11.1% jump in a year-over-year comparison from 12 months earlier, in figures reported by Maryland Lottery and Gaming.
In second was Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover, with $62.7 million. That was a 2.2% increase from May 2021. Live! led the state in VLT gross terminal revenue at $42.7 million for the month, just ahead of MGM National Harbor ($40.2 million) but the big edge in table games revenue went to MGM, $35.7 million to $20 million.
Live! has the most slot machines in the state with 3,734 compared to 2,091 at MGM. The Oxon Hill facility has 210 table games, 34 more than the Live! casino, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The other four casinos saw their revenue decrease from May 2021, but the numbers at the big two, especially MGM, carried the state to its overall increase.
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore reported $17.7 million for May (down 9.4% from 12 months earlier), followed by Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin ($8.5 million, down 1.1%), Hollywood Casino Perryville ($8.2 million, off by 3.2%) and Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Flintstone ($5.7 million, a 5.5% decrease).
Casinos Setting Record Pace
With one month remaining in the 2021-22 fiscal year, Maryland casinos are well ahead of the previous year’s pace.
The facilities have combined for $1.84 billion in revenue from July 1 to May 31, a 16.1% increase over the $1.58 billion from the same period in the 2020-21 fiscal year.
As for the calendar year, Maryland has made $546 million in VLT revenue and $290.45 million on table games. In the 2021 calendar year those totals were $1.3 billion and $622.9 million, respectively. So this year’s pace for total combined revenue is about $2 billion, a tick ahead of last year’s $1.92 billion total.
May also marked one year since Maryland casinos fully reopened with full capacity after restrictions related to COVID-19 were lifted. The final restrictions ended on May 17, 2021.
Slow Progress on Maryland Sports Betting
Maryland has no real money online gaming options, so the six brick-and-mortar casinos are the only options for slots and table games players.
As for sports betting, efforts to expand options are not going quickly, to say the least.
Maryland online sports betting did not make any progress at a Lottery & Gaming meeting in late May. Hollywood Casino Perryville was approved for a 1,081-square-foot sportsbook.
Retail sports betting in Maryland launched late last year, with Gov. Larry Hogan placing the state’s first wager at the MGM National Harbor. Advocates had hoped that mobile sports betting – which produces the vast majority of handle and revenue in states where it has launched – would begin this fall in time for football season, but that possibility is dwindling as the season gets nearer.