Hollywood Casino Affected by MGM National Harbor

by Jim Hall

Hollywood Casino CharlestownHollywood Casino of Charles Town needs to reevaluate plan as MGM National Harbor Casino’s opening has drew business away from the gaming venue.

Existing casinos and gambling establishments often feel threatened when new facilities are created nearby. When a gaming venue already exists, they have an established number of visitors who take part in casino gaming, dining, entertainment, etc. The traffic numbers plus spending habits of guests help the venue to predict their revenue earnings each month and each year. When a new gaming venue opens up nearby, it can negatively affect the already established casino or gaming facility. In Charles Town, West Virginia, the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races has seen a negative impact thanks to the opening of the new MGM National Harbor Casino.

Drawing Away Business

In the past, the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races was one of the top gaming and racing destinations for those living and visiting Washington D.C. Individuals would come to the venue in large numbers to enjoy watching the races or playing gambling games. However, once the MGM National Harbor Casino opened just a short time ago, gamblers took to visiting the brand new venue instead. The Hollywood Casino began to see a dip in business with profits moving away from the casino.

The West Virginia Lottery has reported that within the first two weeks of the MGM National Harbor Casino being open, the revenues for video lottery gaming at the Hollywood Casino were down by almost 20% with close to $670,000 in lose money. Table gaming revenues were down by around 22% with close to $214,000 in revenues lost.

Eric Schippers is the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the Hollywood Casino who stated that the venue was aware that the new casino was coming and they made preparations in advance. The Hollywood Casino decided to reinvest in their business to be able to stay competitive. Within the past few years, a new hotel was created, new slot machines added, new entertainment venue and restaurants are now located on-site.

No Changes Coming Yet

Schippers has stated that as of right now, the gaming venue does not have any plans to make any changes to the staff, even though they have lost business. For 2017, the gaming venue is expecting to see around a 20% drop in revenues. However, Schippers does think the venue will stay competitive.

The CEO of Jefferson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Annette Gavin, feels that Schippers sentiments are correct. Gavin stated that the MGM facility is not the first casino to open in the area and each time a venue has been created, the Hollywood Casino makes adjustments and comes out the victor.

Gavin admits that she is not an expert in the numbers and percentages when it comes to business lost at the casino. She is not surprised or alarmed to see that business is down as the venue has just opened. However, she is confident that the people of Hollywood are watching and listening and are able to adjust the business model in any way needed.

Gaming analysts feel that the Hollywood Casino should make plans that will set the venue part from the rest. Some feel that the horse racing portion of the venue should be the driving force behind promotions. There should be ways to use the horse racing aspect as well as the casino to drum up excitement in regards to the venue. Young people do not seem as interested in horse racing and this demographic is one that should be gone after.

Over the next few weeks, officials of the gaming venue should be working to create a plan that will see the venue offer promotions or exciting options to bring in gamblers who might otherwise go to MGM National Harbor.