Maryland's casinos generate nearly $70 million in July

Maryland Live sees 48 percent revenue increase year-over-year as opening of poker room nears

August 05, 2013|By Chris Korman, The Baltimore Sun

Maryland's four casinos generated $69.3 million in revenue in July, about $36.3 million of which was returned to the state.

Maryland Live, the Hanover facility owned by the Cordish Cos., made $52.5 million from 4,323 slot machines and 122 table games and continued moving toward keeping more of its revenue than it pays back to the state. The casino paid about $27 million in taxes and kept $25.5 million. Table games, which are taxed at only 20 percent compared to 67 percent for slot machines, contributed $14 million toward the casino's share.

Maryland Live's new poker room, with 52 tables, is scheduled to open at the end of August pending approval from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

Maryland Live's July revenue increased $17 million — 48 percent — over the same period last year, which was the casino's first full month of operation. Only 3,249 machines were available for gamblers then.

Table game revenues pushed Hollywood Casino Perryville to a nine percent — $625,337 — increase compared to July a year ago. The Penn National-owned casino made $7.5 million from 1,158 slot machines and 22 table games.

Rocky Gap Casino in Western Maryland generated $3.5 million in slots and table game revenues, an increase of $1 million over June, the facility's first full month.

Ocean Downs, outside of Ocean City, generated $5.8 million from 800 slots machines. Casino officials have not yet said whether they will offer table games. Attempts to reach them to discuss the decision have been unsuccessful.

Casino revenues collected by the state are used primarily to fund education spending but also goes to horse racing, local impact grants, the lottery and small, minority and women-owned businesses. While the tax structure on casinos was originally standardized across facilities, the state agreed to a different rate for the troubled Rocky Gap project and adjusted how much Ocean Downs, the smallest casino in the mid-Atlantic, owes; Rocky Gap keeps 50 percent of its slots revenue, and Ocean Downs retains 43 percent.

Horseshoe Casino is being built on Russell Street near M&T Bank Stadium. Crews there recently began erecting interior walls. The Caesars property is scheduled to open in late summer or early fall next year.

Three bidders are vying for the state's sixth license, in Prince George's County. A state commission is expected to pick one by the end of the year.

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