Maryland Live! earnings fall for first time following Horseshoe Baltimore opening

TAGs: Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, Maryland, Maryland Live!, Ohio

maryland-live-casino-revenue-fallsMaryland’s newest casino has succeeded in producing the first ever revenue decline at the state’s top gaming joint. Maryland’s five casinos earned $82.4m in September, $1.8m more than the previous monthly record set in August. That month included six days of revenue from the state’s fifth casino, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, which is run by a Caesars Entertainment-led consortium. But the new joint’s first full month of operation took a big bite out of the competition.

Maryland Live! earned $45.5m in September, enough to ensure its reputation as the state’s top earner. But that figure represented a 9.8% year-on-year decline, the first such revenue retreat since Maryland Live! opened in June 2012. The decline was the direct result of the Shoe, which generated $22.3m in its first full month after earning $5.7m in its first week of operation in August. Horseshoe GM Chad Barnhill said the property had also “exceeded revenue expectations” in its non-gaming amenities.

Prognosticators expect the Horseshoe will ultimately poach 16% of Maryland Live’s slots revenue and 25% of its table game earnings. Two weeks ago, Maryland Live GM Rob Norton told state gaming regulators that the impact of the Shoe’s opening had (so far) been less severe than forecasters had predicted.

Things weren’t so rosy at two other state casinos, with the Hollywood Casino Perryville off 10.7% year-on-year to $5.9m, while Ocean Downs fell 2.8% to $4.9m. Rocky Gap, the state’s perennial cellar dweller, bucked the trend by gaining 16.2% to $3.6m.

While the state’s gaming revenue rose following the Shoe’s opening, it wasn’t by much and the novelty factor that brought a lot of looky-loos to the Shoe will soon wear off, at least, until MGM Resorts opens its National Harbor casino in 2016. But with other regional jurisdictions boosting their own casino offerings, Maryland may soon find itself with – to borrow a phrase from Abe Lincoln – too many pigs for the teats.

Ohio‘s four casinos saw revenue fall 8% in September, extending the state’s streak of declining revenue to seven straight months. The state’s four casinos earned $63.4m in September, but all four properties posted year-on-year losses. Horseshoe Cleveland earned top spot with $16.8m, down nearly $3m from the same month last year. Horseshoe Cincinnati’s $16.2m was down $3.1m, while Hollywood Columbus dipped a more modest $140k to $15.8m and Hollywood Toledo fell $300k to $14.5m.

The situation wasn’t much better at the state’s seven racinos, which earned a combined $60.6m in September. That sum was $3.1m higher than the month before, but September’s total marked the first contributions from the state’s seventh (and final) racino, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, and the first full month of contributions from its sixth, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway. From August to September, the number of video lottery terminals in operation across the state rose from 8,611 to 9,821 but win per machine fell from $215 to $206.


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