Maryland Casino Revenue Surges Eight Percent in 2018, MGM National Harbor Pays for Jackpot Error

Posted on: January 14, 2019, 12:09h. 

Last updated on: January 14, 2019, 12:09h.

Maryland casino gross gambling revenue (GGR) jumped 8.2 percent in 2018 to nearly $1.75 billion. That’s the state’s all-time best.

Maryland casino revenue MGM National Harbor
MGM National Harbor near the nation’s capital was the top Maryland casino in terms of revenue in 2018. (Image:

Five of Maryland’s six casinos won more money in 2018 than in the previous year. The lone exception was the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, which has continued to struggle since the December 2016 opening of the $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor outside DC.

The MGM integrated property was the top earner last year, with the Oxon Hill, Maryland, resort reporting total GGR of $705 million. That’s an almost $100 million premium on the casino’s inaugural year.

Maryland Live! was next at $575 million, and Horseshoe third at $260 million. The latter property, owned by Caesars Entertainment, saw gross revenue decline by nearly $12 million.

The state’s three smaller resort casinos – Hollywood, Ocean Downs, and Rocky Gap – accounted for $206 million.

Horseshoe Ringer

Maryland Live has invested considerably in order to better compete with MGM National Harbor. Its 310-room hotel, two more total rooms than its DC counterpart, opened in June of 2018.

Caesars is now trying to play catch-up with its Horseshoe casino in Baltimore. Located several blocks from the city’s Ravens football stadium, the casino has been buying properties between the venues in hopes of creating a more appealing corridor.

However, there aren’t currently any plans to build a hotel at the casino.

Sports Betting Delay

Marylanders want to allow the six casinos to operate sportsbooks, but gambling on pro and collegiate athletic competitions won’t be coming to the Old Line State anytime soon. The Maryland Constitution requires that any change to laws regarding gaming come with voter approval through a ballot referendum.

A poll released in November by the University of Maryland and Washington Post found that 53 percent of registered voters back the legalization of sports betting.

Since the federal ban on sports wagering was repealed by the US Supreme Court last May, seven states – Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, New Mexico, and Mississippi – have joined Nevada in permitting sportsbooks. The earliest Maryland voters could approve of a ballot referendum would be in 2020.

The General Assembly would first need to pass a measure to put a sports betting referendum before voters. For the legislation to be approved, a simple majority support from citizens is required.

MGM Gambler Receives Jackpot reported last week about a gambler at MGM National Harbor who didn’t receive a substantial jackpot after a casino employee wrongly entered her Social Security information.

Maryland resident Cynthia Obie said she was told by casino staff that due to an entry error, she wouldn’t be receiving her winnings. State law prohibits casinos from trying to pay out on one jackpot two times.

But over the weekend, Obie says an MGM National Harbor executive showed up at her house with a check.

“It was very exciting. I need this money,” Obie told Fox 5 DC.