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Stephen Martino, the director of the Maryland Lottery, is shown during an April 10 news conference in Baltimore. The Maryland Lottery reported record sales earnings in Fiscal Year 2012.
Stephen Martino, the director of the Maryland Lottery, is shown during an April 10 news conference in Baltimore. The Maryland Lottery reported record sales earnings in Fiscal Year 2012. (AP FILE PHOTO, Carroll County Times)

HANOVER - The line no longer snakes outside the Maryland Live! Casino.

The barriers brought to control crowds have been taken away.

Visitors can now open the doors, walk inside and not have to wait for a chance to gamble at Maryland's newest, and largest, casino.

When the Maryland Live! Casino opened June 6, thousands of eager visitors waited for hours to get inside even though the facility opened at 10 p.m. on a weeknight.

Many pumped their fists once they got inside. Others simply gave up, unable to gain access due to miles-long traffic jams on Md. 100 and Arundel Mills Boulevard, the main arteries leading to the complex.

The casino remained busy, attracting lines during the opening weekends, and generated more than $28 million in gross gaming revenue in June. But it has quieted down a bit. Visitors to the casino last Sunday were able to walk right in, with the youngest adults being asked for identification by security staff.

Even so, the opening of the Maryland Live! Casino, coupled with a sales record for Fiscal Year 2012, highlighted a promising year for the Maryland Lottery. Director Stephen Martino discussed with the Times the latest lottery and casino trends and what to expect for fiscal year 2013.

Maryland Live! Casino

The numbers: Maryland Live!'s June earnings were $359.27 per day per machine, helping Maryland earn more than $40.8 million at the three casinos statewide last month. The Maryland lottery tested and approved 531 additional slot machines that were made available for use Thursday.

Martino's message: "They did that in less than a month from June 6-30. Obviously, this time next year when we are talking about revenue for Fiscal Year 2013, [the figures] are going to be much, much larger due to Maryland Live!."

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Hollywood Casino and Ocean Downs

The figures: When excluding the Maryland Live! figures, casino revenue from June decreased from the same period in June 2011 by 2 percent or $256,759. Revenue decreased 9.8 percent at Hollywood Casino in Perryville in June compared to June 2011. The Casino at Ocean Downs in Worcester County's revenue increased 16 percent in June when compared to June 2011.

Martino's message: "Ocean Downs does its best activity in June-July-August when tourists travel to Ocean City. In general, I think Hollywood [Casino] has been trending up, but clearly they fell back a little bit in June with the opening of Maryland Live!."

Maryland Lottery

The figures: The Maryland Lottery generated $1.795 billion in sales, a new record in Fiscal Year 2012. It was the 15th straight year Maryland Lottery saw an increase in sales. These figures are separate from casino revenue. The prizes paid out to players reached $1.066 billion. Mega Millions and Powerball generated a combined $193.7 million in sales.

Martino's message: "I think it was a combination of small things that added up to a large amount, not the least of which was the Mega Millions jackpot that got up to a record $656 million. In addition to that, we had one of the three winning tickets. We were able to capitalize on a great deal of media coverage."

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