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Casino Revenues Decline Between August and September

All casinos in the state pulled in less money than they did in August, including Maryland Live!, which added hundreds of new machines.

Maryland's casino revenue fell as summer turned into fall, even as the state's largest gambling facility added new slot machines in September.  

The Maryland Lottery reported $42.9 million in casino revenue statewide, down from $44.6 million in August.

At the Maryland Live! casino near Arundel Mills, revenues dropped slightly from $32.4 million in August, to $32.0 million in September. The drop comes even after the facility boosted the number of video gaming terminals from 3,710 to 4,750 on Sept. 12. 

But lottery officials said the figures at Maryland Live! should not be cause for alarm.

"They already have a lot of capacity," Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino said. "Adding more [machines] was not necessarily going to add a lot of traffic. There's a relatively fixed amount of gaming revenue and now they're just spreading it across more machines."

Maryland Live! officials said the additional slots helped the casino grow its presence in the region. 

“While our neighboring states saw a decline in revenue for September, our Phase 2 expansion, additional slot machines and great casino promotions have allowed us to increase our market share,” said Rob Norton, the president and general manager for Maryland Live!

Casino revenue also fell by 8 percent at the Hollywood Casino in Perryville, and 13 percent at Ocean Downs Casino. 

Martino said the declines from August into September are expected, as interest typically wanes as the summer comes to a close. This is especially true at Ocean Downs, where beach vacationers decline rapidly after Labor Day, he said. 

Examining year-over-year revenue numbers usually offer a more fair comparison, but can't be done with Maryland Live!, which only opened in June. 

Hollywood Casino's revenue dropped by $3,305,712, or 35.6 percent, when compared to the previous September. Martino said the drop can be attributed largely to new competition from Maryland Live!

All revenue from casinos in Maryland is split between operators and the state, which distributes its share to education funding, and other initiatives.

Here's how the $42.9 million was divided in September: 

  • Education Trust Fund, $20.8 million
  • Casino share: $14.1 million
  • Horse racing purse account: $3 million
  • Local impact grants: $2.36 million
  • Race tracks facility renewal account: $1.07 million
  • Maryland Lottery: $857,981
  • Small, women-owned and minority businesses: $643,486

Martino acknowledged that any projections would be changed if voters approve an expansion of gambling on the November ballot. But, he said the Maryland Lottery was happy with how things are going so far. 

“I think were going to need a couple years to see what the trends are," Martino said. "We continue to be pleased that the program is delivering on the promise to deliver revenue for the state of Maryland."

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Maryland Live! casino opened in July. It opened in June. Patch regrets the error.

Matt M October 05, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Haha...good luck casinos. This is not going to end well...
number9dream October 05, 2012 at 07:48 PM
A day late and a dollar short.
John October 06, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Lottery revenue = 49 million. Amount that's ended up in a single school = $0.
Bill Hussein O'Stalin October 06, 2012 at 12:27 PM
When the other casinos open up you will have more casinos making the same amount of money while spending more. The article is correct. There's only so much money to waste out there and you would think most people would be smart enough to know there's a controlled pay out and luck has nothing to do with it. Basically, it's for suckers.
Midge October 06, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Maryland Live started in June (not July).
Tom Barnes October 06, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Meh.... I only went to Hollywood for the buffet LOL Never dropped more then a $20 in their machines. Now that the good food is gone, no reason to go over the bridge. Yeah... I love my casino food XD
Helen October 06, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Why isnt some of the funds going to police and fire departments and even less to the waining horse racing etc. would someone also explain just what the education trust fund can do with the funds coming into it ? Will it go to improve schools, funding for teacher aids and supplies so they dont have to use their hard earned dollars to buy art supplies etc for classroom projects etc.?
BadStatistics October 06, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Because police and fire departments are county/local government agencies, not State level agencies. This money may hit these departments as pass through money through the agencies, but otherwise you will no see 'direct' increases in local government spending and revenues. For example, your schools. Check to see how much state aid schools are getting - if it is increasing, chances are good it is from this revenue.
Corey Somers October 07, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Didn't Charles County have casinos back in the 60's? They did not do well back then either.
Bill Hussein O'Stalin October 07, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Waldorf had casinos and big name entertainment. My friends and I (I was 13 at the time) would sneak over during the summer from Northern Virginia and sneak into the casinos and play the slots. In those days nobody cared and you could do what you wanted. There were many celebrities in Waldorf in those days.
Frank in Elkridge October 09, 2012 at 12:44 PM
The Cordish casino is grossing $1 million a day. Not bad. If other casinos open, particularly National Harbor, that should put a big dent in their revenue. That's why Cordish and Penn National are pouring millions of dollars into ads against Question 7. The don't want big new casinos in Baltimore City and National Harbor eroding their revenue. It's pure self-interest on their part because they don't care if other casinos would increase revenue for the state if it reduces revenue at their casinos.

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