Maryland’s six commercial casinos have had a good run in recent months. August continued to produce strong revenue growth across the board that began months earlier, and September was another productive month. With three casinos now receiving preliminary approval to launch sports betting, more growth is right around the corner.
Maryland’s Casino Gaming Market on the Rise
May brought record revenue growth to Maryland’s casinos and the strong performances have continued. August was another great month, and September has kept the trend alive. While the total revenue was slightly lower than that of August, $165 million compared to $168 million, it’s still an impressive return.
According to the data for September, Maryland’s six casinos reported a year-on-year increase of 15.1% last month. That also gave the state a boost, as it picked up 15.6% more than it did a year earlier. However, when put into perspective, the percentage of the increase isn’t too significant, given that the casinos were limited to 50% capacity in September of last year.
Still, any positive movement is a good thing. MGM National Harbor led the way with $69.5 million, which was 20.9% higher than a year earlier. Live! Casino & Hotel saw $56.5 million for a year-on-year increase of 14.9%. In third place was Horseshoe Casino, which reported revenue of $17.5 million. That, however, was 0.5% less than a year ago. Ocean Downs Casino had revenue of $9.04 million, an increase of 17.4%, Hollywood Casino finished the month with $7.4 million (11.1% growth) and Rocky Gap had $5.36 million, a 6.4% improvement.
Sports Betting Finally Coming to Maryland
Maryland has had some difficulty putting together its sports betting market, but things are reportedly finally coming together. After revealing last month that the first sportsbooks might be seen before the end of the year, three casinos have received preliminary approval from a legislative committee that will allow them, once one more signoff is received, to launch sports betting operations.
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission greenlighted yesterday applications for Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover and MGM National Harbor. They are among 17 that are eligible for sportsbooks in accordance with Maryland’s new laws, but still have to be vetted by the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC). That entity will have the final say on all sports betting operator applications.
The three casinos are likely putting the final touches on their sports betting operations now in anticipation of what should be guaranteed approval. The SWARC will reportedly meet again on October 14, at which time it could sign off on the applications. With that in mind, Maryland could be just weeks away from legalized sports betting, and the state’s casinos will likely begin to draw larger crowds as a result.