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baltimoresun.com

Hollywood Casino Perryville's first year by the numbers

BY MARISSA GALLO, mgallo@theaegis.com

9:46 AM EDT, September 22, 2011

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When Hollywood Casino Perryville, the state's first slots casino, marks its first anniversary this Tuesday, Sept. 28, the casino will have generated some $70 million in revenue for the state of Maryland and Cecil County and the state's troubled horse racing industry.

The Perryville's casino's net gaming revenue from its opening through the end of August was already $100,999,835, according to owner Penn National Gaming, Inc.

According to the Maryland State Lottery's website, slots.mdlottery.com, Hollywood Casino produced $8,547,807.34 in net gaming revenue in August, which was down about $1.6 million from July.

The Lottery regulates the state's slots casinos, Hollywood Perryville and Ocean Downs in Worcester County, the only two that have opened since slots were legalized by a statewide voter referendum in late 2008.

Since Hollywood Casino Perryville opened, there have been a few relatively better months and some that have been more average, in the $9 million to $10 million revenue range. Weather plays a role. When revenue reached barely $9 million in February, snowstorms were cited as a factor by casino officials.

By law, 67 cents of each dollar net gaming revenue goes to the state and 33 cents to the casino operator. All told, the state has received revenue of $67,964,768 through the end of last month.

The state's share is broken down, also by law, with most of it going to the education trust fund (48 percent of gross revenue), the next highest amount to horse racing purses and race track improvements (9.5) percent, the local government where the casino is located (5.5 percent) and the Lottery (2 percent) for administration. Some of the local share is diluted for required community renewal projects in Baltimore City and Prince George's County around the Pimlico and Rosecroft race tracks, respectively.

The Maryland State Lottery and Penn National don't give out dollar amounts gambled. However, approximately 88 to 90 cents of every dollar gambled is returned to players in winnings.

Using that yardstick, about $1 billion was gambled at the Perryville casino in its first year, more than the combined annual budgets of Harford and Cecil counties and the three closest towns to the casino, Perryville, Port Deposit and Havre de Grace.