Maryland Casinos Show Huge Recovery in May
Gamblers are back at Maryland casinos, with the six venues reporting more money earned in May in the history of the industry.
Across the United States, casinos are starting to offer services at 100% capacity. As more vaccinations are taking place in the country, and people are more willing to travel, venues are starting to see higher visitor numbers. In Maryland, visitors are coming out in full force now that venues are open fully, with the month of May reporting the highest ever revenues totals for the industry, going back to September 2010 when gaming first launched.
The gross gaming revenue for May came in at just over $172 million. This beats the previous high from March of this year, which was $169.1 million. The May monthly earnings cannot be compared to last year due to COVID-19 closings. The casinos were inoperable, and this resulted in a $0 total. Going back to May 2019, the monthly comparable is $152.27 million.
The top earner in the state was MGM National Harbor. The casino generated over $68 million. Next in line was Live! Casino, bringing in $61.4 million. Third place went to Horseshoe Baltimore, which brought in just over $19 million.
Pulling up the rear was Ocean Downs, Rock Gap, and Hollywood Perryville. These venues had low monthly totals, that came in as $23 million all together. For the month, the casinos created over $73 million in state taxes. Most of this money will go towards the Education Trust Fund.
Wealth of Visitors
It seems that players visiting the casinos in Maryland were ready to play. For months now, players have been restricted when visiting casinos, having to experience less amenities as well as mask wearing and social distancing. COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in the state back in March, but casinos had to stick with local ordinances.
However, by mid-May, the MGM National Harbor and Horseshoe Baltimore were able to open at 100% capacity. It appears as though May is the first month where we get to see the pent-up demand surrounding the local gambling industry.
For the state’s casinos, since March, two months have been record-setting. In May, five of the six casinos saw the most profitable month, with a surge in gamers. Only the Horseshoe Baltimore saw a drop in May 2021 when compared to May 2019.
Owned by Caesars Entertainment, the Horseshoe has been struggling for quite some time. However, the brand is investing in efforts to put the venue in a positive light and bring in players as the demand for casino entertainment increases.
For MGM National Harbor, the casino saw its GGR reach 15.7% when compared to 2019. For Live! the brand was up 14.8%. For the smaller performing casinos, the monthly GGR percentage was even higher. Hollywood Casino was up over 22% while Rocky Gap pushed just over 21%. Ocean Downs was up 18.8%.
More to Come
Now that casinos seem to be bustling with activity, there is a chance that the industry will be growing even larger in a short amount of time. The state has officially approved sports betting, with Hogan signing legislation into law in May.
The six casinos in the state can now offer sports betting on-site as well as online. The governor was a big supporter of the effort and the new industry will provide funds for K-12 education needs. Now that the legislation has been approved, Maryland will be able to compete with neighboring states like West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Delaware.
It will be interesting to see if the land-based gaming totals improve even further once the sports betting industry is up and running. Casinos will be able to pull in sports fans to wager and this could see an influx in additional betting on-site.