The DC-Maryland corridor has recently been singled out because of the level of gambling revenue being reported in the area and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The Maryland Lottery provided an update yesterday on how casinos in the state performed last month, indicating that, collectively, they set a new in-state revenue record. As the state prepares for legalized sports gambling, it’s in a great position to reap the rewards of an expansive gambling market.
Maryland Casinos Raise the Bar
The six casinos in Maryland combined for gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $172.4 million last month, breaking the previous record set this past April when they saw GGR of $169.2 million. Both of those results were better than what was reported in April 2019, when the state set its previous record of $145.23 million. Not only are the state’s gambling properties running strong this year, but they also outperformed the market last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
MGM National Harbor continues to be at the forefront of Maryland’s gambling scene. In April, it reported a 2.5% increase over April 2019’s performance as its revenue hit $62.25 million – even as it was reduced to 50% capacity – and turned things up in May. It saw a 15.7% increase from May 2019, with GGR closing at $68.4 million. Maryland Live! Casino & Hotel wasn’t too far behind last month, reporting revenue of $61.4 million. That was a 14.8% increase over May 2019. The Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, a Caesars Entertainment property, didn’t perform as well, however. Just like in April, its May revenue compared to two years earlier dropped, this time by 5% as it only generated $19.5 million in revenue. The Horseshoe was the only property of the six in the state to see a GGR decrease last month; the other five averaged an increase of around 18%.
Casinos Could Get a Boost From Sports Gambling
Sportsbooks are coming to Maryland, although no one knows exactly when. There were indications that bets could have been placed starting June 1, but that day has come and gone with no movement. Casinos are busy getting their sportsbooks ready and signing important partnerships, anticipating a launch at any moment. If the MGM National Harbor was already leading the pack before sports gambling, it will likely continue to hold that position once sports gambling starts. It is the official partner of the Baltimore Ravens and just signed up former NHL star and International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky to be an ambassador.
Analysts predict a strong sports gambling market in Maryland once it gets rolling. Geoff Fisk, a revenue analyst with MarylandSharp.com, is one of these, forecasting strong results for the state. With as many as 60 sportsbook licenses to be issued, three times as many as in New Jersey, he believes the market could potentially be worth as much as $217 million a year. That is also good news for the state, as it would receive $32.55 million in annual tax revenue. Fisk asserts, “Maryland sports betting seems destined to succeed. Attractive tax rates and unprecedented opportunities for new sportsbook brands should lead to a win-win situation for operators and the state.”