MGM National Harbor back on top as Maryland casinos set another revenue record

Four-month-old MGM National Harbor reclaimed the state's top revenue-producing spot during a record-breaking March for Maryland's six casinos.

MGM, which opened Dec. 8, topped $50 million in monthly revenue for the first time, surpassing Maryland Live, according to figures released Wednesday by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

Overall, the six casinos generated $141.2 million, their highest-ever monthly total. The figure represents an increase of $43.3 million, or 44.3 percent, over the same month a year earlier, before MGM opened in Prince George's County.

Minus MGM, the five other casinos saw revenue decrease 8.1 percent — a lower-than-anticipated loss of market share.

"There were a lot of naysayers that said all MGM National Harbor would do is cannibalize existing revenues," said James Karmel, a casino analyst and history professor at Harford Community College.

While the other casinos' take has slipped, the bigger story is that MGM "is increasing the overall revenue picture," Karmel said. "This is really positive news for Maryland. Part of it could be the result of a fairly solid economy."

The previous monthly revenue record was $133.5 million, set in December when MGM opened.

Maryland Live retook the state's No. 1 spot in February. The locally owned casino, adjacent to Arundel Mills mall, had revenue of $46.6 million in March, down 14.6 percent from a year earlier.

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore reported revenue of about $27 million, down 2.4 percent.

Revenues were up 4.5 percent at slots-only Ocean Downs and increased 14.7 percent at Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Western Maryland. Hollywood Casino Perryville saw revenue slip 1.3 percent.

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