Live! Casino is Top Maryland Earner for Only Second Time Since 2016 MGM Opening

Posted on: November 8, 2021, 11:38h. 

Last updated on: November 8, 2021, 11:50h.

Live! Casino Hotel Maryland was the state’s top grossing casino in October. It’s only the second time since MGM National Harbor opened in December of 2016 that the Anne Arundel County gaming floor outpaced its primary competitor.

Maryland casino Live! MGM National Harbor
Live! Casino & Hotel’s $60.8 million won off of gamblers last month was the best performance among Maryland’s six casinos. The state gaming industry is performing well, as the pandemic subsides. (Image: The Cordish Companies)

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) from the state’s six commercial casinos totaled nearly $155 million last month. That’s 8.6 percent better than October 2020. The casinos contributed $68.9 million in tax revenue to the state during the month.

Live! led the way, with casino win totaling a little more than $60.8 million. The 22.7 percent year-over-year surge for The Cordish Companies property allowed it to easily best MGM National Harbor’s $55.8 million in GGR.

While Live! experienced increased play in October, MGM went the other way, National Harbor experienced a gaming win decline of 1.2 percent from October 2020. The last time Live! topped MGM was in February of 2017.

Horseshoe Baltimore GGR was nearly flat from a year ago, the city casino reporting GGR of $17.2 million, a 0.9 percent decrease. The three resort casinos — Ocean Downs, Hollywood Perryville, and Rocky Gap –combined to win approximately $21 million, or about 10 percent more than they did in October 2020.

Casinos Healthy Post-Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t fully behind the US. But for now, its darkest days seemingly are.

October 2020 presented a favorable comparable for Maryland casinos in October 2021, as the venues were forced to operate at half capacity a year ago. The six gaming properties are today free of any state-mandated coronavirus restrictions.

Gaming has been robust in Maryland since Gov. Larry Hogan (R) lifted capacity restrictions on the casinos in March. The six gaming floors in July reported record revenue of $180.1 million, the highest monthly mark in state history.

Year to date, GGR totals around $1.59 billion. That is $613 million better than the same 10 months in 2020.

Sports Betting Arrival

Maryland’s casinos are set to soon gain another operating privilege with sports betting. Last week, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission approved several casino-sportsbook partnerships.

Approved Sportsbook Partnerships:

  • MGM National Harbor — BetMGM
  • Live! Casino — FanDuel
  • Horseshoe Baltimore — Caesars Sportsbook
  • Hollywood Perryville — Barstool Sports
  • Ocean Downs — TwinSpires

Rocky Gap has yet to unveil whether it plans to seek a sports betting permit. The five state approvals allow the licensees to operate both in-person and online sports betting once given the greenlight. But that greenlight remains red, as the state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) continues to drag its feet in finalizing regulations that will govern the expanded gambling.

We’re obviously disappointed by the lack of progress in yesterday’s SWARC meeting,” explained John Martin, Maryland’s lottery and gaming director. “The delay is likely to push sports wagering back until after the New Year. At this point, we are hoping to make the NFL playoffs in January and the Super Bowl in February.”

Maryland’s Baltimore Ravens are serious Super Bowl contenders. The 6-2 AFC North leaders are at 12/1 to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy.