Maryland Casinos Continue Slide, Revenue Down in January

Posted on: February 7, 2024, 01:32h. 

Last updated on: February 7, 2024, 01:43h.

Maryland casinos continued to experience reduced play on their gaming floors in January.

Maryland casinos gaming revenue January
No, Taylor Swift didn’t visit Horseshoe Casino Baltimore when her boyfriend Travis Kelce’s Kansas City Chiefs came to town in January. Despite an array of marketing and Photoshop efforts, the Caesars casino continued its struggles in January 2024, as did all six Maryland casinos. (Image: Horseshoe Casino Baltimore)

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission this week revealed January casino numbers. It was the latest monthly report showing a year-over-year decline in gross gaming revenue (GGR).

The state’s six commercial brick-and-mortar casinos won approximately $153.2 million, which was 8.4% lower than January 2023. January marked the state gaming industry’s fifth month of year-over-year declines in the previous six months. Only December experienced a gain, and it was negligible at just 0.3%.

Maryland casino win in 2023 totaled $1.98 billion. That represented a 3.3% decline or about $68.5 million less than they won in 2022. January began 2024 with further declines in casino income.

Statewide Declines

January’s GGR losses were felt across the Maryland gaming industry. Each of the six casinos won less money during January 2024 than they did in January 2023.

MGM National Harbor maintained its market lead with the integrated resort casino reporting GGR of $66 million. January saw the casino win about $6.3 million less than January it did in 2023, an 8.7% drop.

Live! Casino & Hotel near BWI Airport saw GGR decline 2.5% to $56.8 million. Horseshoe Casino Baltimore also continued its losing ways, as the Caesars Entertainment casino saw win tumble 17% to $14.6 million.

The state’s three resort casinos also incurred losses. Hollywood Casino Perryville won $6.5 million, a 7.5% drop, while Ocean Downs in Berlin saw GGR slide 13% to $6.1 million. Rocky Gap won about $3.2 million, a 37% fall.

The reduced win translated to fewer tax dollars for the state’s Education Trust Fund. Tax receipts from slots and table games totaled $45.6 million, an 11% regression.

The January numbers don’t include revenue from sports betting. Sportsbook win is reported separately, and January numbers haven’t yet been produced.

Maryland is home to both retail and online sportsbooks. There are 13 retail sports betting locations and 12 online sportsbook platforms.

In 2023, sports betting generated $164 million in sportsbook win after about $111.5 million in promotional play deductions.

January was likely a good month for oddsmakers, as the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens lost to the Kansas City Chiefs at home during the AFC Conference Championship Game despite being favored.

Not a Good Sign for iGaming

State lawmakers in Annapolis will soon consider legislation to bring legal iGaming, interactive slot machines and table games played online, to the state.

A study commissioned by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission conducted by the Innovation Group concluded that iGaming would likely hurt play at the six casinos. The study projected that 2,700 jobs could be lost because of reduced foot traffic at the six brick-and-mortar casinos.

With legacy play down in 2023 and off to a downward start in 2024, iGaming’s odds of gaining a legal regulatory framework in the Old Line State presumably lengthened following the January GGR report. Union officials who represent casino workers are lobbying against iGaming not only because of job concerns, but also on other economic worries.

It is not only the 16,000 casino jobs in Maryland that are at stake. If iGaming were enacted in Maryland, there would be no incentive for the state’s brick-and-mortar casinos to make new capital investments to expand gaming floors, increase restaurant and entertainment options, or construct/expand hotel and lodging amenities,” opined Jason Chorpenning and Shane Sterry, respectively the president and vice president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 27 and Seafarers Entertainment and Allied Trades Union.

“This will result in a loss of job opportunities for Maryland across industries and will lead to less real estate tax revenue, less personal property tax revenue, less income tax revenue, less alcohol tax revenue, and fewer sales tax revenue than are currently being realized,” they said.

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