Casino Revenue In Maryland Bounces Back In December To $165 Million

Written By T.J. McBride on January 8, 2024 - Last Updated on January 12, 2024
A rebound graphic on a story about Maryland's casino revenue in December 2023.

After a few months of slipping casino revenue in Maryland, numbers bounced back in December.

Maryland casinos reaped $165.6 million of adjusted gross revenue in December. That amount was higher month over month and year over year. Revenue was 5% better than November’s $157.7 million and .2% better than December 2022’s $165.2 million.

All six casinos combined to contribute a whopping $70.2 million of tax dollars to the state in December.

MGM National Harbor retains its title as most profitable casino in Maryland

There is a possibility of Maryland online casinos being legalized in 2024. With that change potentially on the way, the revenue and tax contributions from casinos in the Old Line State could climb even higher.

Two of the six Maryland casinos are among the top five casinos in the country outside of Nevada. MGM National Harbor and Live! Casino and Hotel naturally took the top two spots in the state for revenue in December.

MGM led all other casinos in December with $70.8 million in adjusted gross revenue (AGR). It was up 2.1% YoY and about 6% better than in November. The 2,266 slot machines on the MGM gaming floor brought in $42.2 million of revenue, while the remaining $28.6 million came from its 207 table games.

Live! Casino was the only other casino in the state to provide any sort of competition to MGM. It generated $60.6 million AGR in December, which was about four times higher than third-place finisher Horseshoe Casino. December revenue at Live! was 1.5% higher YoY and 4.3% MoM.

Live! generated $43.1 million of revenue from its 3,849 slot machines. The other $17.5 million of revenue came from the 179 table games.

Horseshoe Casino was the distant bronze-medal finisher with $15.2 million AGR. Its December revenue was 9.6% worse YoY but nearly 4% higher MoM. Around $10.2 million came from its 1,401 slot machines, while the remaining $5 million came from its 122 table games.

Here is how all six of Maryland’s casinos fared in the last month of 2023:

MGM National Harbor: $70.8 million
Live! Casino and Hotel: $60.6 million
Horseshoe Casino: $15.2 million
Hollywood Casino: $7.6 million
Ocean Downs Casino: $7 million
Rocky Gap Casino: $4.4 million

Tax contributions from casino gaming improved slightly in December

Despite seeming very high, the $70.2 million of tax dollars Maryland casinos gave to the state in December was right in line with expectations. In December 2022, the state received $69.7 million in tax dollars. Tax contributions rose by 6% from November’s $66.2 million.

MGM led the way in tax contributions with $29.4 million in December. Around $23.7 million of that total came from slot machines, while the remaining $5.7 million came from table games.

Live! came in second as expected with $25.5 million in taxes paid. Nearly $22 million came from slot machines, while $3.5 million came from table games.

The distant third was Horseshoe Casino with $6.4 million of taxes contributed. Of that total, $5.4 million came from slot machine, while just under $1 million came from table games.

The majority of tax dollars received from casino gambling go toward the Education Trust Fund. In December, the total amount generated for the fund was $50.7 million. That left $19.5 million to be split up between Maryland’s horse racing industry, businesses owned by minorities and women, small businesses and the communities that house casinos.

Are online casinos on the horizon in Maryland?

With casino revenue and tax contributions stagnating in recent months, some lawmakers are looking to add an online casino market to make up the difference.

Maryland state Sen. Ron Watson had co-sponsored legislation that would legalize online casinos in Maryland in years past, but no bill has made it out of the statehouse. Watson told PlayUSA that he is confident a similar bill could be passed this year.

“I’m very confident that we’ll have something that we can pass [in 2024]. 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.”

That confidence by Watson is shared up by Rush Street Interactive CEO Richard Schwartz, who feels online casinos could be just around the corner for Maryland.

“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.”

Photo by Shutterstock / Illustration by PlayMaryland
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T.J. McBride

T.J. McBride is a writer and reporter based in Denver, Colorado who covers the Denver Nuggets as a beat writer. His byline can be found across many websites such as ESPN, FiveThirtyEight, Bleacher Report, and others.

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