After hitting the lowest monthly total of 2023 in September, Maryland casinos bounced back in October with $159.9 million in adjusted gross revenue. It was a 2.9% increase from the $155 million in September.
When compared to October 2022, however, there was a big drop-off this year. Maryland’s casino revenue in October was 25% lower than it was in 2022. It could be just an anomaly. October 2022’s $212.9 million was the highest single month of revenue in Maryland casino history.
Nonetheless, if Maryland lawmakers want those numbers to become commonplace and not an asterisk, one way to do so would be legalizing online casinos.
MGM leads way with $67.3 million AGR in October
Maryland has six state-licensed casinos that contribute to the revenue report.
In October, MGM National Harbor led the way in adjusted gross revenue (AGR) with $67.3 million. It was a 7.9% improvement from the month prior. Of that total, $39.2 million of AGR came from MGM’s 2,301 slot machines. The remaining $26.3 million of AGR came from MGM’s 207 table games.
Still October was a 41.5% decrease from October 2022, when the single-month AGR record was set as MGM collected $115 million AGR.
Live! Casino and Hotel generated $57.8 million AGR in October. It was just a 1% decrease from September. Live! got $40.8 million of AGR from its 3,890 slot machines and the remaining $15.6 million of revenue from its 179 table games.
Coming out with the bronze medal in October was Horseshoe Casino Baltimore with $14.9 million, a slight increase of 2.8% from September. Around $4.5 million came from its 122 table games, while $10.1 million came from 1,375 slot machines.
Here is how the other three Maryland casinos fared in October:
In October, Maryland receives $67.3 million in taxes
All Maryland casinos combined to contribute $67.3 million of tax dollars to the state in October. That was a slight improvement compared to September, when $66.4 million was added to the state.
Once again, things look bad when compared to last year. The tax contribution in October was 15.9% worse than in October 2022, when the state received just under $80 million.
Of October’s total tax contribution, $48.5 million was added to Maryland’s Education Trust Fund. The rest went to the towns that house the six casinos as well as Maryland horse racing, businesses owned by women or minorities and small businesses.
Could online casinos be next?
If online casinos in Maryland were legalized, these figures would climb much higher.
On an earnings call in September, Rush Street Interactive CEO Richard Schwartz discussed bringing online casinos to Maryland and his confidence in doing so.
“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.”
When Maryland state Sen. Ron Watson, a co-sponsor of the last online casino legislation filed in Maryland, spoke to PlayUSA, he said he 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. 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.