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Maryland Live sees slot revenue fall as table games start

Casino and Gambling IndustryGamblingU.S. Securities and Exchange CommissionPenn National Gaming

Table games at Maryland Live Casino generated $8.4 million in revenue in their first month at the Anne Arundel County facility, on top of $38.2 million from its slot machines, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency reported Monday.

While overall revenue at Maryland Live was up $1.95 million in April from March, revenue from slots fell about $6.45 million in April from the month before. By far the largest of Maryland's casinos, Maryland Live operates 4,217 slot machines and 122 table games.

The state report came out just days after Penn National Gaming Inc. said it intends to bid for the state's sixth casino license, in Prince George's County, in a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bids are due to the state Friday for the Prince George's casino license, which was approved by Maryland voters in the same November referendum that OK'd table games.

Penn National spokeswoman Karen Bailey said Monday the filing does not necessarily mean the company will file a bid.

"We will release that decision and details of a bid (if we file one) on the due date of the submission," she wrote in an email.

If Penn National does bid, it would be going up against MGM Resorts, which spent about $40 million lobbying for the referendum's passage. MGM wants to build a $600 million casino at National Harbor, a resort and conference center on the Potomac River just south of Washington.

Penn National actively lobbied against the casino expansion, fighting the addition of a sixth casino that it expects will take business away from its Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County and Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia.

If it secures a license, Penn National would build a casino at Rosecroft Raceway, a struggling harness track it bought out of bankruptcy. Still, Penn National, based in Wyomissing, Penn., is not optimistic about its prospects for the license.

"Though we intend to participate in the bidding process, we believe another operator could be selected, and as a result our financial results would be adversely impacted as it would create additional competition for Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and Hollywood Casino Perryville," the company said in its quarterly 10-Q filing to the SEC.

Altogether in April, Maryland's three casinos pulled in $58.9 million in revenue. Excluding Maryland Live, which opened in June of last year, gambling revenue for the state's other two casinos in April was down $3.69 million, or a little over 25 percent, from a year ago.

The three casinos' share of April revenue totaled $24.1 million.

Hollywood Casino Perryville continues to see a drop in revenue, despite adding table games in early March. For April, the Cecil County casino pulled in nearly $8.44 million, with $1.56 million of that coming from table games. A year ago, Hollywood's slots generated $10.7 million. The casino has 1,138 slot machines and 20 table games.

Perhaps because Hollywood Casino has fewer table games, the tables there pulled in more per day on average than those at Maryland Live — nearly $3,364 compared with $2,995.

The Casino at Ocean Downs took in nearly $3.97 million in April, an increase of $136,789 over a year earlier. The Worcester County casino has 800 slot machines.

Nationally, consumers' interest in gambling appears on the upswing. The American Gaming Association reported Monday that nontribal casinos took in $37.3 billion last year, nearly a 5 percent increase over the year before and the second-largest take ever.

eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com

twitter.com/eileenambrose

Maryland Live revenue

NovemberDecember JanuaryFebruary MarchApril

Slots$34.4 million $35.9M$35.9M$38.3M$44.6M$38.2M

Tablesn.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.$8.4M

Source: Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency

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