March saw six privately owned Maryland casinos achieve a new single-month record for revenues.
Maryland Lottery and Gaming released the March 2018 gaming revenues for the six casinos of the state, revealing a new monthly record of more than $150m (£106m). The casinos were able to increase gaming revenues from March 2017 by 6.3%, when only $141,166,114 (£100,205,759) was earned.
Breakdown by casino
MGM National Harbor remains in the number one spot, setting a new record of its own. The casino was able to earn $60,446,025 (£42,905,876) in March, from slots and table games. This was a new single-month record for the venue. The previous record month was December 2017, when the casino earned $56,575,869 (£40,158,757).
Live! Casino also did well for March, bringing in $47,029,736 (£33,382,708) in revenues for the month. This was a slight increase from the same time frame last year of just 0.9%. Hollywood Casino Perryville saw a slight increase for the month, with a 2.4% difference from March 2017 with $7,114,084 (£5,049,728) in earnings.
Ocean Downs Casino and Rocky Gap also saw increases in revenues for the month. Ocean Downs Casino brought in $5,896,147, which is 26.2% higher than March of last year. The casino was able to see a nice increase due to the addition of table games in December of last year. Rocky Gap Casino Resort increased their earnings by 0.5%, with $4,722,622 (£3,352,816) generated for the month.
In a press release on the record-setting month, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director Gordon Medenica stated: “We are incredibly proud of the performance of Maryland’s casino industry. The state’s casinos employ more than 7,000 people, who work hard every day to make this success possible. We also thank the thousands of players and customers who have found Maryland’s casinos to be such an enjoyable and exciting entertainment option.”
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore struggles
While the above casinos continue to see an increase in gaming revenues from slots and table games, the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore continues to struggle. Owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation, the casino earned just $24,865,345 (£17,651,162) for March, a drop of 7.8% from March 2017. The casino currently operates 2,100 slot machines and 175 table games, with 154 being banked and 21 being non-banked.
Caesars Entertainment is losing business within the casino due to an increase in competition in the region as well as the image issues that the city of Baltimore is facing. To combat these losses, the company is spending millions of dollars to purchase properties near the casino to be able to transform the industrial area into an entertainment district.
The goal of the property purchases by Caesars is to create an entertainment district that will be attractive to Baltimore residents as well as tourists. The company has acquired an old warehouse between the M&T Bank Stadium and the Horseshoe at a purchase price of $4.8m (£3.4m). An office building located across the street was also purchased for $3.2m (£2.3m).
The after-effects of MGM
According to the Washington Post, the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore has been hit hard by the opening of MGM National Harbor in December 2016. In the first full year since the MGM venue opened near Baltimore, the Horseshoe Casino has seen a drop in revenues of over 16% year-over-year. The casino was affected in all areas, particularly within the table games sector. Table game revenues for the Horseshoe have dropped by almost 22%.
Erin Chamberlin, Horseshoe general manager, stated: “We expected National Harbor would have an impact and it has. We have short- and long-term plans to grow our business.” Plans are to create new restaurant options along with assisting in developing properties near the casino.
Baltimore is also gaining a seedy reputation which is certainly hurting the visitor numbers of the casino. In 2017, the city had 342 homicides and was recently named as the most dangerous city in the US by USA Today. It is becoming more difficult for the casino to attract customers when the city has such issues as homicide and violent crime.
Hopefully, the corridor where the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore is situated can become more of an entertainment hub in the future, to bring in more tourists and visitors. For now, the casino continues to struggle and is showing no signs of improvement.