Maryland’s casino scene continues to show signs of a strong recovery from the COVID-19 fiasco, even as new outbreaks continue to appear. While there are no indications that last year’s lockdowns will be repeated again anytime soon, businesses are still on edge as they work to push through the latest chaos. The latest figures coming out of Maryland’s gaming properties seem to indicate that the state is handling the situation well, as gross gaming revenue (GGR) has been consistently strong this year. August was another good month, according to the latest figures, with Maryland’s six casinos reporting gains once again.
Maryland Casinos Stay Active
Maryland’s casinos are setting revenue records this year, having reported a combined GGR of $169.2 million for April and $172.4 million for May. June saw a slip when the casinos took in just $161.5 million, but that was still better than the performance prior to the onset of COVID-19. The latest update from Maryland Lottery and Gaming shows that August gave the casinos GGR of $168.46 million for another stellar month of action.
Maryland has always been a strong gambling state, even through the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest results are only 12.6% higher than they were a year earlier, when the state’s casinos reported combined GGR of $149.55 million. At that time, however, casinos were only operating at 50% capacity, but they are now fully operational.
Out of the six casinos, only one saw a decline in activity last month. The Rocky Gap Casino reported GGR of $5.9 million, a 4.2% decrease from a year ago. The biggest jump was seen at Ocean Downs Casino, which is one of the smaller properties, as it added 29.2% over last year’s results when it took in $9.85 million. Most of the money, however, was spent at MGM National Harbor, which reported GGR of $67.42 million. That represents a 12.9% increase over August of last year.
The rest of the revenue went to the other casinos:
Live! Casino & Hotel – $59,506,465, a 13.4% increase over the $7,037,846 from August 2020
Horseshoe Casino – $18,001,130, a 7.2% increase over the $1,202,587 from August 2020
Hollywood Casino – $7,768,635, a 14.5% increase over the $986,120 from August 2020
Maryland Picks Up Important Funds for Education
The casinos provided Maryland with significant revenue that the state and local communities will continue to use for various programs. In total, $71.28 million was turned over by the casinos last month, an increase of $10.45 million from the $60.8 million delivered a year ago. That 17.2% increase will be put to good use, with $51.78 million of the total going to the state’s Education Trust Fund (ETF).
It was almost possible that September could have delivered even more substantial gains, but bureaucratic red tape is always sticky. Maryland is on the verge of introducing its legal sports betting market; however, it is facing challenges with the structure of the rules. As a result, legal sportsbooks won’t start operating in the state today, the first day of the NFL season, which will also play a role in how casinos perform this month.