Hot roll continues for Md. casino industry


(Courtesy photo/Rocky Gap Casino Resort.)

Boom goes the gambling business.

After posting record-setting statewide revenues in March, Maryland’s burgeoning casino industry had another massive month in April: The state’s four casinos combined for more than $71.46 million, according to data released Monday by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. It was the second-best month on record, edging the $71.01 million total from August.

Leading the way, as always, was Maryland Live, which collected nearly $56.5 million from slots and tables. The airplane-terminal-sized casino at Arundel Mills hauled in more than $36.2 million from its 4,322 slot machines in April along with $20.2 million from table games — including $2.1 million from the 52-table poker room.

It was Maryland Live’s 12th consecutive month with pretax gambling revenues of $50 million or more — a streak that began last May, the first full month of operations for the table-games division. Total slot revenue at the fell by about 5 percent compared to April 2013; but the 177 tables made up for the difference and then some.

Excluding Rocky Gap Casino, the lakefront resort that opened in Western Maryland last May, year-over-year casino revenue in the state was up 15 percent, or $8.8 million, over last April, mostly because of Maryland Live, which typically accounts for three-quarters or more of the state’s gambling revenue.

April revenues at both the Casino at Ocean Downs ($3.62 million) and Hollywood Casino Perryville ($7.69 million) were down by nearly 9 percent from the same period in 2013. Rocky Gap generated $3.63 million.

Of the statewide haul — which was exactly $71,457,588.66, according to regulators — about half was collected in taxes, including more than $28 million for the Education Trust Fund. The casinos have sent nearly $270 million to the education fund during the current fiscal year.

In March, which included five high-volume weekends, Maryland’s casinos shattered the statewide record with nearly $78 million in gross gambling revenue.

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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