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Maryland Casinos Report $173.15M in May Revenue,

Maryland’s casinos generated $173.15M in May 2024, marking the second-highest revenue month this year. MGM National Harbor led with $72.27M, while three casinos faced annual revenue drops. Online casino legislation is delayed until 2026.
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Branimir Ivanov | Senior News Contributor

Updated: Jun 7, 2024

Maryland's Growth

Maryland's gaming sector experienced a significant upturn in May 2024, with the state's six casinos reporting combined revenue of $173.15 million from slot machines and table games, according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming (MLG). This marks the ninth-highest monthly revenue in the history of Maryland's casino program, demonstrating a robust performance amid broader economic uncertainties.

 

Revenue Growth and Trends

The $173.15 million revenue in May signifies a notable increase both on a monthly and annual basis. Compared to April 2024's revenue of $163.2 million, May saw a 6.13% rise, underscoring a month-over-month growth trend. On a year-over-year basis, the revenue increased by 2.2%, reflecting ongoing recovery and growth in the state's gaming industry despite fluctuating market conditions and consumer spending patterns. This performance makes May 2024 the second-highest month in terms of revenue this year, trailing only behind March 2024, which saw an impressive $178.14 million.

This consistent revenue growth is illustrated in the monthly figures for 2024, which include:

  • January: $153.24 million
  • February: $159.23 million
  • March: $178.14 million
  • April: $163.15 million
  • May: $173.15 million

 

The strong revenue figures translate into significant tax contributions for Maryland. In May, the state collected $74.4 million in tax revenue from its casinos. This represents a 6.6% increase from the previous month's tax contributions, and a 5.1% rise compared to May 2023. The increase in tax revenue reflects the broader gains seen in casino earnings and underscores the casinos' role as a significant revenue source for state funds.

A substantial portion of these tax revenues, amounting to $53.66 million, was directed to Maryland's Education Trust Fund. This fund allocation saw a 6.57% monthly increase and a 4.2% annual rise, highlighting the beneficial impact of casino operations on educational financing in the state. These contributions are crucial in supporting various educational initiatives, providing much-needed funding to enhance the quality of education and infrastructure in Maryland schools.

Among Maryland’s six privately owned casinos, MGM National Harbor continued its dominance as the top revenue generator. In May, MGM National Harbor reported revenue of $72.27 million, marking a 0.8% increase compared to the same period last year. The casino’s ability to maintain and slightly increase its revenue year-over-year is a testament to its strong market position and effective operational strategies.

Live! Casino & Hotel also reported robust performance with a revenue of $65.03 million, reflecting a significant 10.3% increase from May 2023. This double-digit growth suggests a solid patronage and possibly effective marketing or loyalty programs that have resonated well with customers, thereby boosting revenues.

In contrast, Horseshoe Casino reported a revenue of $14.72 million, a significant 15.9% decrease compared to the previous year. The decline at Horseshoe Casino indicates challenges in maintaining its customer base or competitive position within the market. Similarly, Ocean Downs Casino experienced a slight annual drop of 0.6% in revenue, reporting $8.35 million. This marginal decrease suggests stable performance with minimal fluctuation in patronage or operational outcomes.

Hollywood Casino saw a modest annual increase of 2.7%, with its May revenue totaling $7.81 million. Despite this yearly rise, Hollywood Casino reported a decrease from April’s revenue, with a month-over-month decline of 1.55%. This drop makes it the only casino to report a decrease in May compared to the previous month.

Rocky Gap Casino, while experiencing a 4.9% decrease from the previous year with revenue of $4.97 million, showed the most substantial month-over-month growth, with a 16.36% increase from April. This sharp rise could indicate a successful promotional campaign or seasonal factors that favored Rocky Gap Casino in May.

 

Outlook on Online Casino Legislation

The prospects for online casino legislation in Maryland remain uncertain in the near term. Despite efforts in 2024 to legalize online casinos, the legislation did not pass. Sen. Ron Watson, who sponsored the bill, has indicated that there will likely be no further legislative push for online casinos until 2026. This delay is primarily due to the requirement for voter approval in a general election. Without a referendum scheduled for this fall, the next opportunity for voter consideration will be in 2026.

The deferral means that while traditional casinos continue to thrive, the expansion into online gambling will remain on hold. The delay also suggests that stakeholders and policymakers will need more time to address concerns and build broader support for the initiative. There remains a possibility that the House bill sponsor, Del. Vanessa Atterbeary, or another legislator might introduce a new bill in 2025, but significant legislative action on online casinos is more likely to wait until the 2026 general election cycle.

 

“Maryland's six casinos collectively reported $173.15 million in revenue from slot machines and table games during May 2024, marking the ninth-best month in the state's casino history and a 6.13% increase from the previous month.”

 

Conclusion

Maryland's casino industry has demonstrated resilience and growth, with May 2024's revenue figures highlighting a strong performance amid broader economic trends. The continued growth in revenue, coupled with substantial tax contributions, underscores the significant role of the casino sector in Maryland’s economy. However, the future expansion into online gambling remains uncertain, with legislative action on this front likely deferred until 2026. For now, Maryland's traditional casinos continue to drive substantial revenue and contribute meaningfully to state funds, particularly in supporting educational initiatives.

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