Maryland’s Casino Revenue Takes a Slight Dip in August

Maryland Casino Revenue

Maryland is home to just over six million people. Interestingly, this small state in the Northeastern United States is developing quite the gambling industry. New reports have just surfaced showing that Maryland’s casino revenue took a slight dip this past August.

This is certainly no cause for concern. In fact, Maryland’s casino revenue is still performing great. Today, we’ll talk about how much money the casinos here managed to bring in last month.

Let’s get into it!

Reports Show a Drop in Maryland’s Casino Revenue This August

The casino industry in Maryland is only about a decade old. The first true Class III gambling venue here opened its doors in January of 2011. Since that time, five more casinos have opened here, all of which attract gambling fans on a regular basis.

Maryland’s casino revenue has broken records several times this year. The months of March, May, and July were particularly successful months for this industry. It seems that August was not quite as lucrative for the casino companies operating here.

Total gross gaming revenue in the state came out to $168.5 million. This represents a slight drop from the $180 million brought in last July. It is an impressive 12% increase in revenue when compared to August of 2020, though.

MGM National Harbor, which opened its doors in December of 2016, had the best month by bringing in more than $67 million. Live! Casino & Hotel came next at $59.5 million. Rocky Gap Casino performed the worst by bringing in just $5.9 million in total GGR.

Maryland will never be home to a casino industry that competes with the ones in Nevada and New Jersey. The casinos here still continue to perform well. Stay tuned for more revenue report updates as the year goes on.

Lottery Commission Delays the Launch of Maryland’s First Sportsbooks

Maryland is known for its large, passionate sporting fan base. Residents have been calling for sports betting to become legal in the state since PASPA was removed in 2018. In November of 2020, lawmakers here officially approved a set of bills to allow land-based and online sports gambling.

Since that time, regulators have been working to come up with a set of rules for this new form of gambling. Much of this has fallen into the hands of the Maryland Lottery Commission. This regulatory body has just announced that the launch of Maryland’s first sportsbooks is being delayed.

The original goal was to have these sports betting operations up and running by the opening game of the 2021/2022 NFL season. Unfortunately, the Lottery Commission has not agreed on several rules for this industry. That includes coming to agreements on how many sports betting licenses will be handed out.

Officials here remain determined to launch sports betting options as soon as possible. It’s reasonable to assume that sportsbooks will become available here at some point in the next few weeks.

Maryland is far from the only state set to expand its gambling industry this year. Here’s a quick look at some of the other areas of the country about to allow more forms of gambling.

More States are Set to Expand Their Gaming Options

The United States is home to the largest gambling industry in the world. Many states are now home to successful casino and sports betting industries. As the years go on, more areas of the country are working to add more regulated gaming options in hopes of bringing in tax revenue.

Washington is one of those areas. This state is already home to a huge number of casinos owned and operated by Native American Tribes. This week, the first regulated sports betting options will finally go live here in time for the opening game of the NFL season.

Arizona is another state set to begin offering sports betting this week. Lawmakers have needed to come to several key agreements with tribal groups in the state. Both land-based and online sportsbooks will soon go live here.

States including Florida, Connecticut, and Louisiana are working hard to get their first sportsbooks operational, too. All are likely to do so within six months. It will be interesting to see which of these states see the largest increase in gaming revenue, as a result.

Are you surprised to see Maryland’s casino revenue reports for the month of August? How do you think the casinos here will fare over September? Let us know in the comments section below.

Draft of Proposed Maryland Sports Betting Regulations Released

Baltimore Maryland

A draft of the proposed regulations for legal Maryland Sports betting was released ahead of Thursday’s meeting by the Maryland Lottery Gaming Control Commission.

The commission is expected to take up the 228-page proposal in an “special exclusive meeting” covering sports betting in the state.

Maryland voters approved sports betting during the November 2020 vote. Despite time constraints during the legislative session, the legislators enacted the sports betting bill in April and Gov. Larry Hogan signed the bill into a law last May.

License Details

The draft outlines the named entities for Class A and B retail license. According to the proposal, there will be 10 Class A licenses and 30 Class B licenses, divided into four categories.

Class A1 licenses will be given to Maryland’s current three professional sports teams: Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Ravens, and the Washington Football Team, casinos with more than 1,000 video terminals, and potential future NBA, NHL, or MLS teams in the state. These Class A licensees will pay a non-refundable $2M in application fee and $6M for a five-year license bond.

On the other hand, Class A2 licenses will be given to casinos with fewer than 1,000 video machines, Laurel Park, and Pimlico Race Course. They will be required to pay a $1M application fee and a $2M license fee. Class B-1 licensees include seven entities like the Maryland State Fairgrounds, and commercial bingo license. Their application fee costs $250K and license at $750K. For Class B, these are entities with up to 25 employees or $3M in annual gross receipts. These entities will have to pay $50K in application fees and $75K for the sports betting license.

Registration of Online Bettors

A key feature in the draft is the registration of mobile/online sports bettors. This registration process can be done in-person at a retail location if the mobile sports betting licensee also has a retain venue. It can also be processed online via a mobile app or a website that has been approved by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.

Mobile and online bets will be accepted only in-state. Geofencing or location-based tracking will be set up to ensure that all mobile and online bets are placed within the state’s boundaries. On the other hand, in-person betting will happen at a betting window or a self-service kiosk located in a retail sports betting venue.

Class A and B mobile sports betting licenses will be worth $500K during application and $1.5M for the initial five-year license bond. Licensees will only be allowed to use one skin or online sports betting operator. The operator license requires a $1.5M bond and the operator can partner with more than one mobile sports betting licensee

Maryland Sports Betting Bill Moves One Step Closer to Passage

Sportsbook Board Image Cut Into Closeup Image of Man Working on Laptop

Maryland’s Senate passed an amended version of the House’s Maryland sports betting bill via voice vote on Thursday morning, moving the state’s sports betting bill industry one step closer to becoming a reality.

While the senate already passed the bill, they will still have to take it to a roll call vote to have the numbers on record before sending it back to the House for a concurrence vote due to the amendments made by the Senate.

Amended HB 940

House Bill 940 was originally passed in the House on March 11. That draft provided for a total of 37 licenses within three areas of the market. However, the Senate chose to amend the bill and include no cap on mobile sportsbooks or Class B licensing, which includes any number of retail locations. The amendment also called for the prioritization of giving licenses to women and minority businesses.

The Senate also set the tax rate for Class A operators to 15% of gross gaming revenue as compared to the tiered proposal by the House. As for Class B Maryland sports betting operators, the tax rate is 13%. Application fees for licenses were priced at $2M with a renewal cost of $500,000 for Class A licenses and $1M in application fee plus $300,000 in renewal for Class B licenses.

What’s Next for HB 940?

The Maryland sports betting bill now moves to a third reading, likely on Friday, and then it will be sent back to the House for for a vote on the latest draft on the measure. Time is of the essence for HB940 as the General Assembly ends their 2021 session on Monday. If the bill is passed, Maryland sports betting could go live before the start of the 2021 NFL season.

Maryland sports betting stands to become the largest and most competitive sports betting regulated sports betting industry in the United States with no limit as to the number of legal Maryland sports betting operators. Maryland is known as the Free State and if this Maryland sports betting bill is approved, the state will live up to its nickname

Maryland Sports Betting Bill Heads to Senate After Securing House Approval


Odds Board and Money

The Maryland House of Representatives voted 130-9 in favor of House Bill 940 which would legalize sports betting in the state.

The version of the bill approved on Thursday was much more expanded from what was initially filed The original version called for 10-stand alone digital licenses and allowed retail and mobile sportsbooks at or tethered to the state’s existing casinos. But after discussions with stakeholders, the House Ways and Means Committee amended it to be more inclusive.

Online and In Person Betting

HB 940 would allow online betting at Maryland’s six casinos and the three stadiums where the state’s three major professional teams play, as well as horse racing tracks. The bill also permits 22 locations where people could place bets in person.

The Maryland sports betting bill also requires operators to remit 15% of their revenues as taxes. Applications would cost $250,000 for Class A Licenses, and $500,000 for stand-alone mobile platforms. Renewal fees are valid for five years and are worth $500,000 and $100,000, respectively. Meanwhile, brick and mortar casinos are allowed one skin or mobile partner.

Inclusion of Pro Venues

The locations which are allowed to operate a physical sportsbook include the state’s six existing casinos, the Washington Football Team’s FedEx Field, the Baltimore Ravens’ M&T Stadium, the Baltimore Orioles’ Camden Yards, the Maryland State Fairgrounds, Pimlico and Laurel Park horse racetracks, and one off-track betting parlor.

However, the approved version of the Maryland sports betting has a unique provision for the sports venues. Unlike in other states, Maryland sports betting allows venues to take sports bets in ticketed areas and those areas are open only during events, games, or when races are held. The said venues could also offer wagering when other events are held at the facility but there is a required number of people present for it to be considered as “game days”- 2,000 for race tracks and 10,000 for sports venues.

Maryland Expected to Launch Later This Year

The Maryland lawmakers are in session until April 12. If Senate does approve the bill, it will be sent to Gov. Larry Hogan for his signature. The bill would take effect on June 1st but there appears to be no timeline set for regulators to promulgate regulations or get operators.

Generally, it would take a state between six months to one year to approve regulations and launch sports betting operators. Neighboring Virginia legalized sports betting in April 2020. The first sports bet taken in the Volunteer State was on January 21, 2021. On the other hand, Colorado legalized sports wagering in November 2019 and operators began accepting bets in May 2020. Maryland already has a gaming structure so experts believe that sports betting can launch there later this year.

Penn National Acquires Operations of Hollywood Casino in Perryville

Penn National Gaming
Penn National announced on Tuesday that it has reached an agreement with Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. to acquire the operations of the Hollywood Casino in Perryville for $31.1M.

The regional casino operator will pay for the transaction in cash and it will also lease the property from GLPI for $7.77M per year. The deal is expected to be completed in the middle of 2021 but pending the approval of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission. Once consummated, Penn National will have operations in 20 states throughout the United States.

Said Penn National President and CEO Jay Snowden:

“With the recent approval of sports betting through the overwhelming passage of Question 2 on Election Day, Maryland is expected to soon become a significant retail and mobile sports betting market.”

Maryland Legal Sports Betting

During last month’s elections, Maryland voters favored legal sports betting in the state by a margin of about 2 to 1. The vote enabled the Old Line State to join neighbors Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia as states which have legalized sports betting since the U.S. Supreme Court repealed the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

With the people’s approval, the onus is now with Maryland’s General Assembly to develop and approve the structure for Maryland legal sports betting. The structure would outline among others which businesses can apply for a license, how and where fans could place bets, and how the revenues would be shared between the state and operator. Once the rules are finalized and legislation is enabled, state analysts expect Maryland legal sports betting to generate an annual revenue of $18.2M for the state for both in-person and online sports betting if operations are taxed at 20%.

Part of April Deal with GLPI

The Perryville Hollywood Casino was actually developed by Penn Gaming in 2010. GLPI assumed ownership of the Perryville property in 2013 when Penn National split its casino operations from its real estate business. Last April, Penn struck a deal with GLPI to sell Tropicana Las Vegas for $305.7M in rent credits. The agreement allowed Penn to retain operations of the Strip resort and it was given the right to acquire Hollywood Casino in Perryville.

Penn operates 41 properties in 19 states while offering retail and online gaming, live racing, and sports betting entertainment. Its casinos and hotels have an aggregate 50,000 gaming machines, 1,300 table games, and 8,800 hotel rooms operating under brands such as Ameristar, L’Auberge, and Hollywood.

Maryland Casino Gaming Revenue Decreases in November

Closeup of Person Counting Money With a Casino Background
Maryland’s casinos saw a large revenue drop in the month of November. The decrease comes after the casinos had been making good gains following a statewide shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a report by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming, the six Maryland casinos generated a gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $130.3M, an amount which is 8.6% lower than the previous month total of $142.7M. The amount is also $10.4M or 7.4% less than the aggregate revenue posted by the Maryland casinos in November 2019.

Maryland Casino Breakdown

$83.43M of the GGR was derived from Video Lottery Terminals (VLT) while table games contributed $146.94M to the total revenue. Live! Casino and Hotel led the way with a VLT total of nearly $30.9M, beating out the $29.8M of MGM National Harbor. As far as table games are concerned, MGM National Harbor was way above the rest with its $25.5M table games intake.

MGM National Harbor remained the top earning casino during the month of November as it raked in a total of $55.3M or 42.4% of the state’s total GGR. Live!Casino and Hotels came in second with its haul of $45M while Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore was a far third with a monthly revenue of $15.25M. Horseshoe Casino though operated at a lower capacity for the most part of November due to new restrictions enforced in Baltimore.

Horseshoe Heavily Affected

After being allowed to open at 50% capacity for two months, the city of Baltimore tightened the restriction to 25% capacity for restaurants, gyms, retailers, and casinos beginning November 12th due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Being the only Maryland casino in Baltimore, Horseshoe was badly hit by Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young’s decision.

Horseshoe’s November 2020 GGR is an all-time monthly low for the Caesars Entertainment owned Maryland casino. It’s the latest setback for Horseshoe which has struggled since Caesars won the Baltimore license in 2012. The company has been trying to reverse the Baltimore casino’s fortunes in recent years but to no avail.