Maryland Live takes in at least $50 million in gross gaming revenue for sixth-straight month

November 6, 2013

Another month, another $50 million haul for Maryland Live.

The massive ­casino in Anne Arundel County raked in $51.8 million in gross gambling revenue in October, the sixth consecutive month that it has cleared at least $50 million on its slot machines and table games. The total included $2.3 million from Maryland Live’s 14,800-square-foot poker room, one of the busiest card rooms in the country since its opening in late August.

Collectively, the state’s four casinos collected more than $66 million in October, according to Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency figures.

Excluding Rocky Gap Casino, the modest Western Maryland resort that opened in May, year-over-year casino revenue in the state was up nearly 60 percent, or $23.3 million, for the month. Most of the increase came from live-action table games, which were approved last year by voters as part of a dramatic expansion of gaming in Maryland.

Gross gambling revenue — the amount collected from slot machines and table games before the casinos pay taxes, interest and other expenses — was up by more than 20 percent at both Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County and the Casino at Ocean Downs on the Eastern Shore.

See previous stories in an occasional series exploring the changing casino industry and gambling culture in Maryland.

At Maryland Live — by far, the state’s largest casino, with more than 4,300 slot machines and 174 tables, including poker — the year-over-year growth was nearly 70 percent, or $21.1 million.

And executives there said they think there’s more growth potential: The casino, at the Arundel Mills mall, recently received clearance from state regulators to remove 71 slot machines to make way for a new, 24-hour Asian restaurant near the baccarat pit and high-limit tables.

Putting the restaurant close to “higher revenue producing players” would drive “both gaming and non-gaming revenues,” Maryland Live’s president and general manager. Rob Norton, wrote in a letter to the state. The as-yet-unnamed restaurant — complete with a show kitchen — will replace the casino’s undersized, overtaxed Noodles eatery and is expected to be completed by spring.

Slot revenue at Maryland Live and Hollywood Casino Perryville is taxed at 67 percent. Rocky Gap and the Casino at Ocean Downs pay lower rates (50 percent and 43 percent, respectively). Hollywood, Maryland Live and Rocky Gap send 20 percent of table-game revenue to the state; Ocean Downs hopes to add table games in 2014.

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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