Maryland casinos have the right to do some gloating this August. The small state’s land-based gaming properties are making bank.
To put it all in context, northeastern casino expansion has been talked to death over the last few years.
There’s the growth of the Pennsylvania gaming industry, the new casinos planned in New York and Massachusetts, Connecticut’s plans to build another casino, and Atlantic City’s struggle to survive all of the increased competition springing up around the seaside resort.
But while these have been the major stories, other states in the region have also been building their own casino empires. One of the most successful has been Maryland, which set a new record monthly gambling haul thanks to the five casinos in the small coastal state.
State Casino Industry Experiences 30 Percent Annual Growth
According to reports from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, the five casinos combined to bring in just under $99 million last month. That total is up about 30 percent when compared to July 2014, and also marks an eight percent increase over what the venues brought in during June of this year.
The revenue boom was attributed to two factors. First, there were seasonal vacationers who took to the state to enjoy excellent beach weather, many of whom also made a stop at one or more of the local casinos.
An even bigger factor, however, was the opening of the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, which first took bets late last August. Without the $24.4 million that the casino brought in during July, the numbers wouldn’t have looked nearly as good, as the other four casinos were actually down about two percent year-over-year.
However, the fact that the market grew significantly with the Horseshoe added to the mix suggests that the feared market saturation for the state hasn’t been realized. Other casinos haven’t lost very much business to the new venue, though the market’s limits will be tested again next year when the MGM National Harbor opens for business in a resort town known for hosting events and conventions.
Maryland Live Ticks Down, But Remains Biggest Draw
Maryland Live Casino in Hanover remains the largest casino in the state, bringing in nearly $57 million. That figure is down a little more than two percent compared to last year, probably due to the opening of the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore.
Similarly, the Hollywood Casino Perryville faced some losses this year. The smaller casino brought in just $6.9 million last month, a decline of more than eight percent when compared to the previous year.
The other two casinos in the state both posted annual gains during the month. The Casino at Ocean Downs was up to $6.3 million, while the Rocky Gap Casino took in $4.3 million, both up over four percent.
The monthly take set a new record for the state. The previous high was $96.3 million, a figure that was reached in May of this year.
While those revenue figures may not exactly be off the charts, it is important to remember that Maryland is a fairly modest-sized state, having only a bit under 6 million residents. Under state law, casinos only keep about 39 percent of their revenues, with the remainder going into state coffers to be spent on education programs, among other initiatives.