Maryland followed up a record-breaking March with another impressive haul in April. The state’s six casinos generated $162 million in gaming revenue, the third-highest monthly total ever reported.
The April 2021 revenue numbers represent a 12% increase over April 2019 figures, according to the Maryland Lottery. A comparison for 2020 is not available since the state’s casinos were closed last April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the casino industry, the past year has presented unique challenges. These include capacity limitations, social distancing guidelines and closures.
Maryland’s casinos first closed on March 16, 2020, before reopening with capacity limitations on June 19, 2020. With capacity limits lifted in recent months and citizens looking for ways to spend what is left of their stimulus checks, Marylanders have been frequenting their local casinos. In March, the state’s casinos generated $169.2 million in gaming revenue, an all-time monthly record.
MGM National Harbor paces the field
Despite local orders continuing to limit capacity to 50% in April, MGM National Harbor once again led the way in monthly revenue for the state’s casinos. MGM’s reported April revenue was down slightly from its March report of $66.5 million.
|Casino||April 2021 Gaming Revenue||April 2019 Gaming Revenue|
|MGM National Harbor||$62.4 million||$60.8 million|
|Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland||$58.2 million||$47.8 million|
|Horseshoe Casino Baltimore||$19.7 million||$19.7 million|
|Hollywood Casino Perryville||$8.5 million||$6.2 million|
|Ocean Downs Casino||$7.7 million||$5.9 million|
|Rocky Gap Casino Resort||$5.7 million||$4.8 million|
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore also remained limited to 50% capacity during the previous month.
The state’s remaining four casinos had no capacity limitations. However, some slot machine and table game seats could not be occupied because casinos continue to comply with social-distancing guidelines.
Casino gaming contributions to the state totaled $69.9 million in April 2021, a $9.7 million increase compared to April 2019. Specifically, the Maryland Education Trust Fund received $50.8 million.
Maryland casinos preparing for sports betting launch
It’s been a strong start to 2021 for Maryland’s casinos, with impressive revenue numbers in both March and April, but looming on the horizon is another avenue for gaming operators to reach the customer: sports betting.
The Maryland General Assembly passed sports betting legislation on April 12 that allows for a multitude of online and retail sportsbook licenses.
The state’s casinos have wasted no time in preparing their retail sportsbook offerings. Maryland Live! recently unveiled its new Sports & Social Maryland lounge, which will soon be home to a FanDuel Sportsbook thanks to the partnership between FanDuel and the Cordish Gaming Group.
Meanwhile, MGM National Harbor’s planned sportsbook is moving through the permitting process. The MGM Sportsbook will be located near its National Market food court. Three National Market venues are being removed to clear space for the new operation.
The expectation is that casino sportsbooks will be up and running by the start of the 2021 NFL season, although mobile offerings and sports betting at smaller venues may have to wait due to the proposed license selection process.
Considering the number of licenses on the table, Marylanders expect more major sportsbook operators to enter the market.