Maryland’s summer slide of casino revenue continued into September, falling to its lowest monthly total of the year. Casinos collected just over $155 million in adjusted gross revenue in September, an 11% drop from July.
In July, casino revenue totaled $174.3 million. It slipped to $161.4 million in August. The continued decline in September, to $155.1 million, should be concerning.
The silver lining is that the declines could provide ammunition to legalize online casino gambling in 2024.
As usual, MGM led the way in September MD revenue
There is a path to legalize Maryland online casinos in 2024. Anticipation is high as to the outcome of a study by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. It is looking at the potential effects of adding online casinos to the gambling menu in Maryland, which some experts believe is the most likely next state to regulate iGaming.
Until then, casino revenue will continue to be generated by the six licensed casinos in Maryland.
MGM National Harbor continued to lead the pack in revenue generated as it usually does. In September, MGM accumulated just under $62 million in revenue. Around $37.5 million came from the 2,264 slot machines, with the rest, $24.4 million, coming from its 206 table games.
MGM’s revenue in September fell by $6.4 million compared to August, a 9.3% dip. September was also $1.8 million lower than the year prior, about 3% worse.
Live! Casino and Hotel held strong in second place with over $58.4 million in revenue created in September. Nearly $42.1 million came from its state-leading 3,846 slot machines. It collected around $16.3 million from its 179 table games.
Unlike MGM, Live! saw a month-over-month improvement of over $3.3 million in revenue, a 5.7% increase. Live! also enjoyed a year-over-year improvement, collecting nearly $1.6 million more in 2023, an improvement of 2.7%.
The faraway third-place finisher in September was Horseshoe Casino, which saw declines in YoY and MoM figures. Horseshoe collected nearly $14.5 million in casino revenue from its 1,400 slot machines and 122 table games. That number was nearly $1 million less than August and more than $2.8 million less than September 2022.
Here’s how Maryland’s casinos fared in September:
- MGM National Harbor: $61.9 million
- Live! Casino and Hotel, $58.5 million
- Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, $14.5 million
- Ocean Downs Casino, $8.7 million
- Hollywood Casino Perryville, $6.7 million
- Rocky Gap Casino Resort, $4.8 million
State collects $66.4 million in September
In total, the six Maryland casinos contributed $66.4 million to the state in September, 2.2% lower than tax contributions in September 2022.
They were 2.5% lower than August and nearly 9.3% lower than collected taxes in July.
Nearly $48 million was added to the Education Trust Fund in September, with the remainder going to cities that house the six casinos, Maryland horse racing tracks as well as businesses that owned by women or minorities and small businesses.
Online casino in Maryland expectations are high
So far, Maryland lawmakers have failed to pass any online casino bills, but that could change when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.
In September, Rush Street Interactive CEO Richard Schwartz spoke about bringing online casinos to Maryland during an earnings call.
“Notably, a prominent legislative member in the state has expressed optimism about the potential for passage of an iGaming bill when the Legislature reconvenes in January. In his remarks, the legislator emphasized the state’s need for new revenue streams and recognized the significance that online casinos could represent as a valuable third leg of the stool, along with existing online sports betting and traditional land-based casino markets.”
Maryland state Sen. Ron Watson, a co-sponsor of the last online casino legislation filed in Maryland, also believes that online casino bills are in a strong position entering 2024.
“I’m very confident that we’ll have something that we can pass by next year,” Watson said in a conversation with PlayUSA. “We have plenty of time to work it out. In some cases like this, we may form a summer study group to hammer out the details, but I’m pretty sure we’ll have something next year ready to roll.”
If an online casino bill makes it through and is approved by the General Assembly, it could be on the ballot as soon as November 2024.