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Maryland casinos won more than $162.1 million from gamblers last month. The haul is the state gaming industry’s third-highest gross gaming revenue (GGR) monthly performance in history. Maryland’s first casino opened in September of 2010.
The six licensed commercial casinos followed up their all-time high of $169 million in March with yet another strong performance. GGR totaled $0 in 2020, as the casinos were closed throughout the month on Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) pandemic orders.
But compared with April 2019, last month’s $162.1 million GGR represents a nearly 12 percent increase.
After setting a single-month gaming revenue record in March, Maryland’s six casinos combined to generate their third-best month of all-time,” according to a statement from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.
“The total represents an increase of $16,870,233 (11.6 percent) compared to April of 2019 when gaming revenue was $145,236,133. All six casinos were closed throughout April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement continued.
Hogan lifted state orders restricting casinos to operate at reduced capacity in mid-March. However, local ordinances continue to limit MGM National Harbor and Horseshoe Baltimore to 50 percent of their fire code capacity.
MGM Leads, Again
Despite being under continued COVID-19 capacity restraints, MGM National Harbor posted the highest GGR number last month. The integrated casino resort in Prince George’s County reported a casino win of more than $62.3 million, a 2.5 percent premium in April 2019.
Live! Casino & Hotel in Anne Arundel County was a close second at $58.2 million. The casino near BWI airport likely benefited from an increase in air travel, as its April GGR number represents a 21.7 percent surge in April 2019.
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore was a distant third at $19.6 million. The Caesars Entertainment property was flat compared with April 2019.
Maryland’s three smaller resort-style casinos — Hollywood Casino Perryville, Ocean Downs Casino, and Rocky Gap Casino — combined to win $21.8 million. That’s a 30 percent jump in April 2019, when the three venues won $16.9 million.
Sports Betting Latest
Maryland is set to become the latest state to allow gamblers to legally bet on sports. Last November, voters approved a ballot referendum to allow state lawmakers to write sports betting laws.
In April, the General Assembly passed House Bill 940 and sent the measure to Hogan’s desk. The sports betting package is one of the largest in the country, as it creates more than 90 sports betting licenses, both in-person and online.
The state’s six casinos, pro sports stadiums, and horse racetracks each qualify for a retail sportsbook. Another 30 licenses are set aside for businesses that want to offer in-person betting, and 60 mobile wagering licenses are up for grabs.
Of course, that’s all dependent on Hogan allowing the bill to become law. Though the governor has said in the past that he supports Maryland joining its many neighbors in having legal, regulated sports betting, the second-term governor has not yet signed the measure.
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