The Washington Post

Maryland Live’s gambling revenues strong, despite calendar, Old Man Winter

Stacy Keibler made the ceremonial first roll of the dice at Maryland Live in April. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post file.)

Not even snow and a shortage of days could snap Maryland Live Casino’s hot streak. The airplane-terminal-sized gambling hall at Arundel Mills hauled in $52.3 million in gross gambling revenue in February, according to figures released Wednesday by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. It was the casino’s 10th consecutive month with pretax revenues of $50 million or more — a streak that began last May, the first full month of operations for Maryland Live’s table-games division.

The state’s largest casino generated $18.3 million in gross revenues on its 122 live-action tables (blackjack, craps, roulette, etc.) and in its 52-table poker room — a 12 percent drop from January, when Maryland Live posted its highest-ever table games total. The casino also pulled more than $34 million out of its 4,322 slot machines, a slight increase over the previous month but down significantly from last February, when Maryland Live generated more than $38 million on about 330 fewer machines.

State regulators approved an additional 12 table games for Maryland Live last month, though they have yet to open for action.

Maryland’s four casinos generated just over $66 million in total gambling revenue in February. About $34 million was collected in taxes, including more than $26 million that went to the Education Trust Fund. The casinos have sent more than $211 million to the education fund during the current fiscal year.

In a year-to-year comparison (excluding Rocky Gap Casino Resort, which opened in Western Maryland last May), total casino revenue in the state increased by more than $15 million, or 31 percent, though all of the increase – and then some — came from table games at Maryland Live and Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County. Slots revenues statewide were down by 9 percent from last January.

Maryland’s gambling-revenue landscape will expand and shift in August or September, when the Horseshoe Casino opens in downtown Baltimore — and again in 2016, when MGM National Harbor opens in Prince George’s County.

J. Freedom du Lac is the editor of The Post's general assignment news desk. He was previously a Local enterprise reporter and, before that, the paper’s pop music critic.



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