Daily life is slowly returning to normal, and in the case of Maryland casino gaming revenue, it’s reaching new heights.
After the COVID-19 pandemic began to set in during early 2020, casino gambling took a hit, especially in the US. However, there are some signs of life through the first half of 2021.
After setting a record with $169.2 million in gaming revenue in March, Maryland online casinos eclipsed the mark again in May.
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming recently announced the May 2021 casino revenue figures.
With the second record-breaker in three months, the six MD casinos generated $172.4 million in gaming revenue. That’s an improvement from the previous record, set in March ($169.2 million). It’s also an improvement over April ($162.1 million).
Live! Casino, MGM lead gaming revenue
Maryland casinos can’t make any meaningful year-over-year comparisons for casino gaming revenue. After all, all Maryland casinos were closed throughout May 2020 due to the coronavirus and subsequent closures and shutdowns.
As of May 17 this year, those casinos could again operate largely at full capacity. However, a few social-distancing measures remain in place, so some seats at table games and slot machines remain closed off.
Still, those minor inconveniences have had minimal impact on revenue numbers. As Marylanders and the state’s visitors returned to the real world, the casinos became a popular destination.
So, which Maryland casinos are pulling in the revenue, which was officially $172,394,450? Here’s the May 2021 gaming revenue breakdown, courtesy of the MD Lotto:
|Casino||Location||Casino offerings||May '21 revenue||+/- from May '19|
|MGM National Harbor||Oxon Hill||2,279 slot machines|
200 table games
|Live! Casino & Hotel||Hanover||3,206 slot machines|
188 table games
|Horseshoe Casino Baltimore||Baltimore||1,150 slot machines|
136 table games
|Ocean Downs Casino||Berlin||852 slot machines|
18 table games
|Hollywood Casino Perryville||Perryville||610 slot machines|
16 table games
|Rocky Gap Casino||Flintstone||626 slot machines|
16 table games
Hollywood Casino Perryville saw the biggest jump with a 22.8% revenue increase. The property, which was the first casino to open in Maryland (2010), will soon be a Penn National Gaming resort once more. Additionally, with Maryland sports betting moving forward, the casino could also help Barstool Sportsbook enter the MD market.
The only casino that didn’t see a 2019 vs. 2021 revenue increase was Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. The casino’s revenue dipped 5 percent compared to 2019. However, with Horseshoe Casino’s close proximity to Baltimore’s major sports venues, including Oriole Park and M&T Bank Stadium, business should pick up as the state reopens.
Where Maryland casino revenue goes
Maryland has some of the highest tax rates for casino revenue in the US. As a result, the state gets a healthy cut.
In May, for example, the gaming revenue produced $73.4 million in state taxes.
The law earmarks most of those funds for Maryland’s Education Trust Fund (ETF). For May, that total was $53.3 million, which is an increase of 11.6% compared to May 2019.
Casino revenue money also goes to:
- The communities where the casinos are located
- Maryland’s horse racing industry
- Small, minority- and women-owned businesses
And that revenue should continue to grow throughout the year. After all, after more than a year of shutdowns and limited capacity, casino-goers have shown they’re ready to make up for lost time.
In a month’s time, we’ll have the gaming revenue figures for June. Don’t be surprised if pent-up interest pushes Maryland casinos to yet another revenue record.