Maryland casinos failed to set another revenue record in the month of June but all six venues posted year-on-year growth.
Figures released Friday by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Agency show statewide casino gaming revenue hit $148.9m in June, up 14.1% from the same month last year. However, the figure was well back of the record $156.5m the state reported in May 2018.
Slot machine revenue was up 16% year-on-year to $93.7m, while table games revenue improved 11% to $55.2m. It’s again worth noting that June’s slots revenue alone was $1.7m higher than the overall casino market revenue generated in November 2016, the last month before MGM Resorts’ new National Harbor venue opened to the public.
National Harbor has never relinquished its role as the state’s top casino earner, earning $59.3m (+18.3%) in June, easily beating out former #1 property Live! Casino & Hotel’s $48.2m (+15.1%). Caesars Entertainment’s Horseshoe Casino Baltimore had its second straight month of year-on-year growth, rising 3.3% to $22.8m.
The other three properties were also in growth mode, led by Ocean Downs Casino at $7.3m (+29.8%, thanks to its new table games), followed by Hollywood Casino Perryville ($6.6m, +4.5%) and Rocky Gap ($4.75m, +5.2%).
SPORTS BETTING A LONG WAY OFF
Like many US states, Maryland’s casino operators would welcome the opportunity to add sports betting to their mix but legislators’ most recent effort at approving the activity failed to achieve liftoff this spring. David Cordish, whose company owns the Live! casino, recently told Business Journal that he “wouldn’t hold my breath” waiting for legal wagering to arrive on Maryland’s shores. At least, not anytime soon.
Cordish said his casino would be “happy” to add wagering “when the time comes and if it’s done right … but it has to be done right, and I think that’s going to take time.” Cordish pointed to disagreements between the state’s casinos and racetracks over who will be allowed to offer wagering as one likely flashpoint.
In the meantime, Cordish is converting the existing 500-seat concert venue at Live! into a sports bar and lounge it’s calling Sports & Social. Cordish said the casino no longer needed the event center after launching an even larger venue at the recently opened Live! Hotel next door.
Cordish said the conversion plans predated the US Supreme Court ruling in May that struck down the federal betting ban, but sports betting “could certainly fit in” the sports lounge if the state gets its act together.