The Washington Post

Maryland Live Casino’s winning streak continues with another $50 million month

Maryland Live Casino is still coming up aces.

The ­airport-terminal-size casino at Arundel Mills brought in $50.4 million in gross gambling revenue in September, the fifth consecutive month that it’s cleared at least $50 million on its slot machines and table games.

According to State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency figures released Monday, the September haul included $2.3 million from Maryland Live’s high-volume poker room, which opened to crowds and buzz in late August.

The split-level, 52-table card room — on most days the second-busiest poker room in the country behind California’s Commerce Casino — has killed most of the poker action at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia. But it’s also dealt a bad beat to Hollywood Casino’s sister property in Maryland: Poker revenue was down by more than 60 percent from the five-month average at Hollywood Casino in Perryville.

Hollywood Perryville — the first Free State casino to offer Texas hold ’em and other poker games — opened with eight tables in March and added two more in late June to accommodate demand.

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

Collectively, Maryland’s four casinos raked in more than $65 million in September, falling about 10 percent short of August’s record for the state’s rapidly expanding gambling sector.

Still, excluding Rocky Gap Casino, the small resort that opened in May in Western Maryland, September year-over-year casino revenue in the state was up about 45 percent, , or $19.3 million — almost entirely due to the addition of table games at Maryland Live and Hollywood Perryville, which generated $19.2 million in gross revenue. Casino at Ocean Downs, the state’s fourth casino, does not yet have table games.

Last November, Maryland voters approved a dramatic expansion of casino gambling, including the addition of live-action Las Vegas-style table games.

Slot revenue at Maryland Live and Hollywood Casino Perryville is taxed at 67 percent. Rocky Gap and 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.

More than $25 million was sent to the state’s Education Trust Fund in September.

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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