Maryland gamblers’ thirst for casino visits during the COVID-19 pandemic has been successfully quenched. If the results from last month are any indication, the state’s gaming industry could be set to enjoy a rapid rebound after having to deal with a horrific 2020 that saw casinos shuttered or operating at significantly reduced capacities for much of the year. Maryland Lottery and Gaming, which oversees the state’s casinos, just released the final revenue figures for April 2021, and the total for Maryland’s six casinos was 11.6% higher than it was in April 2019.
Maryland Casinos Back on Track
Casinos in Maryland were closed in April of last year due to COVID-19, so revenue was a complete bust. The gaming properties are trying to make up for lost time, reporting a revenue total of $162.1 million for last month. This was $16.78 million more than April 2019 when the properties combined for $145.236 million. Given that this beat March’s record-setting revenue to give the state two consecutive months of significant returns, Maryland’s casinos appear ready for an even brighter 2021.
This could also be a good sign for the state’s sports gambling efforts. Maryland is closing in on establishing a legal sports betting market. It could be one of the more robust in the country, with all casinos, the state’s three professional sports teams, racetracks, off-track betting sites and more qualified already for licenses. There will also be 60 mobile sports gambling operator licenses awarded, setting up the state for huge benefits from sports bets.
MGM National Harbor Stands Alone
According to the Lottery, MGM National Harbor was the big winner last month. It reported revenue of $62,254 million, a 2.5% increase over its April 2019 performance. What makes this result more impressive is the fact that the casino achieved it while operating at 50% of its normal capacity for the entire month. It and the Horseshoe Casino were required to keep restrictions in place while the four other properties in the state returned to full capacity. For its part, the Horseshoe’s revenue dropped by less than 1% compared to April 2019, coming in at $19.67 million.
Following closely behind MGM’s success, Live! Casino & Hotel, operating around 870 more slot machines and 13 fewer gaming tables than MGM, saw revenue of $58.217 million. This was a significant 21.7% increase from the $10.38 million it saw two years earlier. Hollywood Casino, which has 604 slots and 16 gaming tables, reported $8.52 million, 36.5% more than in April 2019.
The real winner could be Maryland’s Education Trust Fund (ETF). Casinos gave the state $69.92 million last month – 16.1% more than they did two years ago – and, of this, $50.8 million goes to the ETF. That represents a 12.4% increase over the amount given in April 2019.