With $80 million, state casinos break revenue record in August

With the newly opened Horseshoe Casino Baltimore chipping in nearly $1 million a day, revenues from Maryland casinos reached a new monthly record in August, topping $80 million for the first time.

The Horseshoe, which opened Aug. 26, generated $5.7 million, or more from its slots and table games in its first six days than the $4.2 million reported for the whole month at the significantly smaller Rocky Gap Casino Resort — and nearly as much as the Casino at Ocean Downs' $5.9 million.


The $80.6 million recorded by the five casinos topped the previous monthly high of $77.8 million from four casinos in March.

Even without the Horseshoe included, revenues from the state's casinos increased 5.4 percent from the same month in 2013, according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, which releases the revenue data monthly.


Despite the added competition, Maryland Live, the state's largest casino, continued to show strong results. August revenue at Maryland Live, located at Arundel Mills mall, rose 7.4 percent to $57.3 million.

Analysts have forecast that Maryland Live eventually could see declines as steep as 16 percent in slots revenue and 25 percent in table game revenue as the result of competition from the Horseshoe. The casinos are about 12 miles apart.

The Hollywood Casino Perryville's monthly revenue fell $326,136, or 4.2 percent, to $7.3 million from a year earlier. Rocky Gap's revenue was up 6 percent, and Ocean Downs was down less than 1 percent.

The Horseshoe got an early boost from its opening night, which drew an announced 15,000 people. It reported drawing more than 50,000 guests over the three-day Labor Day weekend — its first weekend since opening. It was aided by crowds at the Navy-Ohio State football game last weekend at nearby M&T Bank Stadium.

The Horseshoe operates 2,500 slots and 122 table games.

The state's monthly casino revenues are expected to continue to rise. MGM Resorts' $925 million casino and resort at National Harbor — about 44 miles from Baltimore — is expected to open in 2016.

But the gains will stop eventually, said David G. Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

"You'll hit a plateau because it is a finite market," Schwartz said. "The question is, when is that going to happen?"