MGM’s National Harbor reasserts Maryland casino dominance


mgm-national-harbor-maryland-casino-dominanceMGM Resorts’ Maryland casino reasserted its dominance in the final month of 2019 while Caesars Entertainment’s local venue continued its downward trajectory.

Figures released Monday by the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Agency show the state’s six casinos generated total gaming revenue of $149.1m in December, up less than 1% from the same month last year but around $8.3m higher than November 2019’s total.

MGM’s National Harbor casino very nearly surrendered its traditional market-leading position in November but re-established its authority with total gaming revenue of $62.6m in December, up 4.5% from December 2018 and $8.7m higher from November 2019.

Cordish Gaming’s Live! Casino & Hotel, which came within $1m of dethroning National Harbor in November, couldn’t keep pace with its rival in December. Live! took in $51.8m in December, a 3.4% year-on-year rise but only about $1m higher than November’s mark.

Caesars’ Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, which has struggled the most following National Harbor’s December 2016 opening, continued that struggle in December. The Shoe’s revenue slid 15.7% year-on-year to slightly over $18.7m, flirting with the property’s all-time low of $18.3m last August.

The state’s three smaller operators had a mixed month, with Hollywood Casino Perryville falling 3.5% year-on-year to $6.06m, while Oceans Downs Casino rose 3.7% to $5.64m and Rocky Gap Casino Resort dipped 4.5% to $4.23m.

For the year as a whole, the state’s casinos generated combined revenue of $1.757b, up less than 1% from 2018’s total of $1.746b. National Harbor’s 2019 results were up less than 1% to $707m, while Live! reported revenue rising 4.4% to just under $601m and the Shoe saw its revenue slide 8.5% to $237.9m.

No Maryland casino would turn down an extra revenue stream, which could be on the way if state legislators approve a new bill pre-filed by state Sen. Chris West ahead of the 2020 legislative session. Sadly, any such measure would require passing a voter referendum this November before it could be implemented, so a betting boost won’t likely arrive until 2021 at the earliest.