Casino Revenues Soar Yet Again for Maryland

by Kyle Miller

MarylandMaryland hits yet another revenue record after March totals are tallied.

The state of Maryland continues to do well in regards to casino gaming revenues, especially within the past year. The state has seen revenues surpass the $100 million mark especially after the MGM Resorts National Harbor venue came into play with its December opening. The figures for March were released yesterday by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Agency which showed that the six casinos of the state were able to produce $141.2 million in March.

Easily Surpassing February Totals

The March earnings were much higher than the $128.7 million earned in February. The state continues to do well after the integration of a 6th casino, the MGM Resorts National Harbor. The National Harbor casino was able to earn the top spot as far as revenues are concerned, with $51.2 million earned in March. This is the highest monthly total for the venue to date. Last month, it was Maryland Live that took the top spot but this month, saw a fall in revenues of 14.6% to $46.6 million.

The Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, operated by Caesars Entertainment, also saw a decrease in revenues when comparing this March with March of 2016. The casino fell 2.4% earning just less than $27 million. Another casino, Hollywood Casino Perryville, saw a decrease with $6.9 million in earnings which is 1.3% less than last year.

On the upward trend, both the Rocky Gap Casino and Ocean Downs were able to see increases in earnings. Rocky Gap was up 14.7% with $4.7 million in earnings while Ocean Downs saw a slightly lesser increase with 4.5% from March 2016 with $4.67 million in revenues for the month.

With so many casinos in the state seeing a decrease, Maryland would have actually seen an overall decrease in gaming earnings for March if National Harbor were not in operation. When you take away National Harbor’s totals, Maryland would be down 8.1% when compared to March of last year.

While National Harbor is a savior as far as operators are concerned and city officials, they have received bad press as of late due to an issue with a local cemetery. A public relations battle has ensured between the casino and founding families of the region. There is a cemetery located near the venue that has around 70 individuals connected to a family from the Colonial era. Descendants of the individuals buried in the cemetery have decided to sue the developer of the casino, Peterson Cos due to their plans to remove the graves and relocate the bodies to a local church. This would be done so that the land can be further developed.

In the past, Peterson Cos assured the public that they would maintain the cemetery within the area surrounded by a walkway with landscaping and signage. Attorneys for the company announced this week that Peterson has had the right to relocate the graves and suggested that the lawsuit by the family would fail to gain ground.

It seems that National Harbor might want to rethink what they would do with the property to stay in the good graces of the local public. It will be interesting to see if the case gains any ground or if the graves will be moved and business continues as usual.

For now, the casino continues to be a big draw for Maryland residents as well as visitors from surrounding states who wish to see what the venue provides as far as gaming, entertainment and dining are concerned. There is no doubt that the gaming facility has been a great benefit to the state and surrounding communities, bringing in much needed revenues and creating employment opportunities.