Gaming is spreading across the country, and it shows no sign of slowing. According to the American Gaming Association, US commercial gaming revenue climbed 6.7% in the third quarter of 2023 to $16.26 billion. Two Maryland casinos played a big part in that growth.
This is the 11th straight quarter where there has been year-over-year growth. It was the highest grossing third quarter in commercial gaming history and the second-best single quarter ever. There has been $48.78 billion of revenue generated in the first nine months of 2023, which is 10% better than the same time frame in 2022.
Nevada casinos generate the bulk of commercial casino gambling revenue because of Las Vegas. For the casinos with the most revenue outside of The Silver State, Maryland boasts two of the top-five casinos in the country, according to the AGA.
MGM National Harbor and Live! Casino in the top 5
There are six commercial casinos in Maryland, but two stand above the rest: MGM National Harbor and Live! Casino and Hotel. Despite these casinos being so popular and huge revenue generators, there are no legal Maryland online casinos.
The lack of online casino gaming (or because of it) has not stopped the two casinos from thriving. It is important to note that these revenue figures include slot machines, table games and retail sports wagering, but they do not include online sports wagering.
For casinos outside of Nevada, MGM National Harbor was third overall in Q3 revenue with just over $200 million. Live! Casino and Hotel followed up with a fifth-place finish with just about $175 million of revenue in Q3.
Here is the top five casinos outside of Nevada ranked by Q3 revenue as reported by the AGA:
- Resorts World NYC (New York): $235 million
- Borgata (New Jersey): $205 million
- MGM National Harbor (Maryland): $200 million
- Encore Boston Harbor (Massachusetts): $180 million
- Live! Casino and Hotel (Maryland): $175 million
Maryland gaming industry continues to grow at a steady pace
This is not a single blip for Maryland casinos. The success of gaming in The Old Line State has shown to be sustainable and growing at a constant pace for both casino and sports wagering.
In Q2, Maryland enjoyed $589.4 million of revenue, per the AGA, which was a 12.9% increase year over year. When taking the year to date, Maryland has generated $1.85 billion of revenue, which is 20.4% higher year over year.
In October, Maryland casinos generated $159.9 million of adjusted gross revenue, with the typical two casinos leading the way. MGM accumulated $67.3 million of adjusted gross revenue, while Live! generated $57.8 million.
Alongside the success of the casino market, Maryland sports betting had one of its best months in history in October. Around $5.8 million of tax dollars were generated from October handle, which broke the previous record. In total, $483 million was wagered on sports in Maryland during October.
While these numbers are strong, Maryland lawmakers are not content. Efforts are underway to legalize online casinos.
When could online casinos come to Maryland?
There has not been much luck recently for lawmakers trying to pass an online casino bill, but those in favor of such legislation are not giving up.
Maryland state Sen. Ron Watson originally introduced an online casino bill in the last legislative session, but it died in committee. He is expected to put forward another online casino bill in 2024.
“I’m very confident that we’ll have something that we can pass by next year. 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.”
The appetite for online casinos could be growing within the Maryland General Assembly. According to Rush Street Interactive Chief Executive Officer Richard Schwartz, there is optimism that an iGaming bill could get passed and added to the 2024 ballot.
“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.”
If an online casino bill does make it through the legislature and onto the ballot, the question posed to voters will be as such:
“Do you favor the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland to authorize Internet gaming for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education?”