Ohio, Maryland Casinos Kick Off 2022 With Record Januarys

Posted on: February 8, 2022, 12:06h. 

Last updated on: February 8, 2022, 05:35h.

Casinos in Ohio and Maryland began 2022 in unprecedented fashion.

Ohio Maryland casinos GGR gaming revenue
Sports betting in Maryland commenced in December 2021 with Gov. Larry Hogan on hand at the BetMGM Sportsbook & Lounge at MGM National Harbor. Casinos in both Maryland and Ohio reported record gaming revenues in January to begin 2022. (Image: AP)

Following nearly two years of pandemic-related business disruptions and lingering public concerns, Ohio’s 11 casinos and video lottery racinos enjoyed a record January to start the new year.

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) totaled $171.2 million, a nearly 18 percent year-over-year gain. Maryland’s six casinos fared just as well, as GGR tallied $153.7 million — a 19 percent gain on January 2021. The monthly revenue numbers are all-time GGR highs in January for the Ohio and Maryland gaming industries.

Ohio’s previous best January came in 2020 when the casinos and racinos collectively won $167.5 million. Few people could have imagined the impending pandemic, which devastated casino numbers in the following months.

Maryland’s best January prior to last month came in 2020, too. The state’s commercial gaming floors won $145.5 million that month.

MGM Dominates Markets

MGM Resorts is the gaming leader in Ohio and Maryland. The Las Vegas Strip-based casino giant operates MGM Northfield Park in Ohio and MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

MGM, known for its iconic “Leo the Lion” emblem, accounted for the lion’s share of Ohio GGR in 2021. MGM Northfield Park pulled in $273.9 million from gamblers, the largest haul of any casino or racino in the state.

Northfield Park began 2022 in a similar fashion, as the MGM property again led the way in gaming income. The racino reported a GGR of $20.2 million in January.

In Maryland, MGM National Harbor won almost $770 million last year, by far the highest revenue number of the six casinos. MGM National Harbor kicked off 2022 by maintaining its stronghold on the state gaming industry.

In January, MGM National Harbor tallied GGR just north of $67 million. Live! Casino & Hotel was a distant second at $54.6 million.

Operating Climates Improve

Ohio and Maryland have both lifted mandatory indoor mask mandates, including the wearing of face coverings inside casinos.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) canceled his emergency mask mandate effective June 2, 2021. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) ended his mask mandate on May 15, 2021, after the US Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance that featured mask-free life for fully vaccinated individuals.

Only 10 states still have some sort of indoor mask mandate. They are California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington.

However, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced this week that the state’s face covering mandate will expire next week on February 16. That could prompt Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) into lifting his state’s masking order.

Maryland casinos hope to further grow gaming revenue by way of sports betting. Retail sportsbooks went live at the casinos in December.

Ohio lawmakers and DeWine signed off on a sports betting bill in December. The statute allows casinos, racinos, and professional sports stadiums to seek retail and mobile sports betting licenses. However, operations aren’t expected to commence until the latter part of 2022, as the Ohio Casino Control Commission is embarking on determining rules that will govern the expanded gambling.