Northeast US casino woes continue

northeast-us-casino-declineMaryland casinos broke a three-month downward trend in March, as gaming revenue hit a new peak of $91m.

The figure is up nearly 17% from the same month last year and $800k more than November 2014’s previous high-water mark. But the four casinos that were open in March 2014 saw revenue fall 14.8% year-on-year. In fact, those four casinos have seen revenue fall every month since September, the first full month of operation at the new Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.

The market-leading Maryland Live was down 15.9% to $51.9m, although that total is the first month this year in which revenue topped $50m. Hollywood Casino in Perryville fell 17.7% to $6.5m, Ocean Downs fell 3.3% to $4m and Rocky Gap fell 3.2% to $3.9m. Horseshoe Casino Baltimore reported revenue of $24.7m, up from $23m in February, but still well off the $31m the property was expected to bring in on each month.

In Pennsylvania, slots revenue at the state’s dozen casinos hit $207.7m in March, down 3.9% from the same month last year. Only three casinos – Sands Bethlehem, Valley Forge Casino Resort and Lady Luck Nemacolin – posted year-on-year gains. Market leader Parx Casino was down 2% to $32.6m, while Sands Bethlehem was up 2.4% to $26.2m.

Moving north to Detroit, the city’s three casinos saw revenue slip 1% to $123.8m in March. MotorCity was the lone monthly gainer, rising 1.1% to $43.4m, The MGM Grand was off 1.8% to $49.8m while Greektown was also down 1.8% to $30.6m.

In New York, the Empire State’s nine racinos reported revenue of $1.905b in the 2014-15 fiscal year that ended March 31. The figure is down a modest 0.4% from the previous year, but it’s the first annual decline since the gambling joints opened a decade ago. Only two racinos – Resort World New York and Batavia Downs – posted revenue gains last year. and Worried observers are already fretting that the party is over, especially with new resort casinos set to open in 2017.

We finish on a rare positive note in Ohio, where the state’s 11 casinos and racinos set a new revenue record in March. The gaming joints collectively took in $145.6m, up from the previous monthly high of $135.4m in December. The four casinos reported revenue of $72.9m, second only to March 2013’s $84.3m, back when there was only one racino operating in the state. The seven racinos earned $72.7m, up from the previous record of $64.7m in December.