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Maryland casinos generated some of the highest revenues in the country in 2020, report says

Despite casino revenue dipping more than 30% in 2020 compared with the previous year, Maryland casinos held up better compared with other markets across the country, according to a new report from the American Gaming Association.

Last year marked the first time since 2010 that Maryland lost revenue in casino gaming across its six venues, with $1.2 billion compared with $1.7 billion in 2019, the report said.

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The association said MGM National Harbor, near Washington, D.C., and Live! Casino & Hotel, in Anne Arundel County, were the two highest-grossing commercial casinos in the nation outside Nevada in 2020, surpassing venues in New York and New Jersey. The report noted an edge the casinos had: stronger earnings in the fall.

The greater Baltimore-Washington, D.C., commercial gaming market, which also includes Hollywood Casino in West Virginia, overtook Chicagoland to slide into the top three gaming areas, behind only the Las Vegas Strip and Atlantic City.

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Casinos closed their doors for about three months because of the coronavirus, and there were several restrictions on indoor capacity and dining. The report estimates that about 27% of their operating days were lost.

Like its revenue, Maryland’s gaming tax revenue was also down by about 30%, falling from $727 million to $507 million.

Of 2020′s tax total, $373 million went to Maryland’s Education Trust Fund, which supports public education, and $43 million was distributed in the form of local impact grants and contributions to local governments. The remainder went to the horse racing industry, responsible gaming initiatives and minority- or women-owned businesses, according to the report.

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