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Maryland Casinos Post Revenue Record in March, But Horseshoe Baltimore Struggles Continue

Maryland casinos have set a new monthly gross gaming revenue win record at $150,073,958. The March 2018 number represents a 6.3 percent increase on the previous year, and is nearly $9 million higher than the state’s previous all-time mark of $141.1 million.

Maryland casinos topped $150 million in March, and business is better at Live! (Image: Baltimore Sun)

MGM National Harbor once again led the way, with the DC-area casino resort reporting GGR of $60.4 million. That’s also a new record for any Maryland casino in a given month.

“We are incredibly proud of the performance of Maryland’s casino industry,” Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director Gordon Medenica said in a release. “We thank the thousands of players and customers.”

March was the third period where direct year-over-year comparisons could be made with all six casinos in operation. The $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor opened December 8, 2016.

MGM’s casino revenue was up almost 18 percent in March. Its $60.4 million monthly GGR record surpasses its previous high mark of $56.5 million set in December 2017.

Five of the state’s six casinos posted monthly percentage gains. Live! reported the second highest total with $24.8 million, a 0.9 percent increase.

The smaller regional casinos, Horseshoe Casino Perryville, Ocean Downs Casino, and Rocky Gap Casino Resort, collectively won $17.7 million. Those gambling floors respectively posted GGR increases of 2.4 percent, 26.2 percent, and 0.5 percent.

Baltimore Struggles

The lone casino that did not see gross gaming revenue increase in March 2018 was Horseshoe Baltimore. The Caesars Entertainment property generated a $24.8 million win, which was a year-over-year $2.1 million loss.

Located southwest of the bustling Inner Harbor, Horseshoe Baltimore is near the city’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium, home to the Ravens. But the three-tenths of a mile distance isn’t an exactly inviting walk.

Caesars has recently spent millions of dollars acquiring properties between the stadiums and casino. The thinking is that the Las Vegas-based company plans to develop the corridor to attract baseball and football fans to the gaming floor.

Horseshoe Baltimore GM Erin Chamberlin said recently the goal is to create a “great entertainment district.”

In the meantime, revenue continues to slide. In the first quarter, Horseshoe Baltimore reported GGR of $65.86 million, a nearly five percent decrease compared to the first three months in 2017.

Live! Alive

No casino has been more impacted by MGM National Harbor than Live! The Arundel Mills property generated GGR win of $545 million last year, a more than $108 million loss compared to 2016.

Live! owners The Cordish Companies is building a 310-room hotel tower to better compete with its $1.4 billion neighbor, which is located about 35 miles south. Live! will also soon offer an outdoor gaming lounge where smoking is permitted.

March’s revenue report showing Live! increasing gaming win by almost one percent is a major victory. For the first three months of 2018, Live! has GGR totaling $137.56 million, which is about 0.5 percent ahead of where the casino was at this time last year.

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