Maryland Casinos Report Record Win, Live! Gains Market Share on MGM National Harbor

Posted on: April 8, 2019, 11:10h. 

Last updated on: April 8, 2019, 11:10h.

Maryland casinos won $163.2 million last month in, a record haul in terms of gross gaming revenue (GGR).

Maryland casinos gaming revenue Live! MGM
Business is picking up at Live!, which is now equipped with a new hotel and additional meeting space. All six Maryland casinos saw gaming revenues increase last month. (Image: Jeff Scheid/Twitter/

MGM National Harbor again led the way, with the property reporting more than $62.7 million in casino win. The $1.4 billion integrated resort that’s located just 11 miles from the National Mall in DC said GGR increased 3.9 percent year over year.

Live! Casino & Hotel near Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) reported GGR of $55.9 million, a 19 percent surge compared to the same month in 2018.

The two casinos account for the majority of gaming revenues won each month by the six Maryland casinos. The two resorts – located roughly 35 miles apart – have been in a turf war since National Harbor opened in 2016 and quickly replaced Live! as the state’s richest casino.

MGM vs. Live!

March was especially kind to Live!, the Hanover, Maryland, casino owned by The Cordish Companies, a real estate development firm headquartered in Baltimore. The resort’s $55.9 million casino win represents a market share of 34.2 percent.

Maryland casinos won $1.75 billion in 2018, also a record. MGM National Harbor was responsible for $705 million, or 40.2 percent. Live! won $575 million, or 32.8 percent.

March’s GGR report might hint that Live! is slowly regaining some of its lost market share. The casino accounted for 34.2 percent of the state gaming industry’s win last month, up 1.4 percent in terms of market share. Meanwhile, MGM National Harbor saw its share decrease to 38 percent.

After National Harbor opened with 308 rooms, Cordish announced plans to construct a new 310-room hotel, which took its first overnight guests last August.

Statewide Wins, Sports Betting Loss

Along with MGM National Harbor and Live! both seeing GGR gains, Maryland’s four other casinos also posted year-over-year increases in March.

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore won $26.6 million (+3.0 percent), Hollywood Casino Perryville won $7.1 million (+0.5 percent), Ocean Downs won $6.6 million (+12.4 percent), and Rocky Gap Casino Resort kept $5.1 million (+9.2 percent).

A record-setting performance in March is great news for the state, and for the many good causes that casino revenue supports,” Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director Gordon Medenica said. “It’s especially impressive at a time of intense competition and expanding gaming options in surrounding states. We heartily congratulate our casino partners.”

The Maryland casinos won’t be afforded the right to operate sportsbooks anytime soon. The state legislature adjourns its 90-day 2019 session today, and sports betting legislation isn’t be considered.

Maryland lawmakers plan to readdress the rapidly expanding gambling format in early 2019 when they reconvene. There’s some debate as to whether an amendment to the state constitution, as has long been thought, is actually needed to allow casinos to incorporate sports betting.

Delegate Eric Ebersole (D-District 12) told Sports Handle this week that the legislature isn’t receiving an answer from Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh. Politicians are trying to determine if assigning sports betting’s regulatory governance to the state lottery would lawfully bypass a voter referendum.

“The feeling is the workaround is really not legit, so we’ll have to do a referendum,” Ebersole opined.