MGM National Harbor tops again in state casino revenue

Just five months after it opened, MGM National Harbor emerged for the second straight month in April as Maryland's top revenue-producing casino, according to figures released Friday by the state.

MGM, which topped $50 million in monthly revenue for the first time in March, generated $49.9 million from slot machines and table games in April, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency reported.

Maryland Live was not far behind at $45.3 million. But the Hanover casino's revenue fell 21.6 percent compared to April 2016, when the state had five casinos instead of the current six.

The impact of MGM's arrival also may have pinched Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, which reported April revenue of $24.5 million — down 18.7 percent from the same month a year earlier.

State officials had predicted that Maryland Live and Horseshoe would see revenue declines as the result of a large new competitor entering the market.

To compensate, state lawmakers changed a revenue sharing formula before MGM opened, allowing Maryland Live and Horseshoe to keep more of their slot machine earnings. Maryland Live now pays 36 percent of slots revenue to a state education fund instead of 43 percent before MGM's arrival in Prince George's County. Horseshoe's contribution decreased from 45 percent to 39 percent.

The share of their revenue going to support the state's horse industry dropped a percentage point to 6 percent.

Locally-owned Maryland Live last captured the state's No. 1 casino revenue spot in February.

In April, the six casinos generated $135.7 million, 30.6 percent more than in April 2016 but down slightly from March, when they produced record revenue of $141.2 million.

Not counting MGM, the other five casinos collectively generated 17.4 percent less than in April 2016, suggesting the new casino on the Potomac River diluted the market.

Revenues were up 3.3 percent in April at slots-only Ocean Downs and increased 10.2 percent at Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Western Maryland. Hollywood Casino Perryville saw revenue slip 8 percent.

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