The Aegis
Harford County

With more competition, Perryville casino holds own, manager says

The Hollywood Casino in Perryville, which caters to a clientele from the Philadelphia-Baltimore corridor, grossed more than $5.5 million in slots revenue in November, but slots revenue is down over the past two years.

Last month, Hollywood Casino, owned and operated by Gaming Leisure Properties, Inc., brought in $5,501,384.79 in total slots revenue, which is $3.6 million less than in November 2011, when it had less competition, according to figures released by the state agency that regulates casinos.


Gaming Leisure Properties was spun off from former casino operator Penn National Gaming, Inc., effective Nov. 1, 2013, according to Karen Bailey, spokeswoman for Penn National.

Gaming Leisure Properties is a publicly-traded corporation, according to the new firm's Website. Stock in Gaming Leisure Properties was distributed to owners of Penn National stock when the tax-free arrangement became final, according to business news reports.


With regard to the Perryville casino's revenues, the drop off was expected, but the casino's management remains upbeat, in part because table games have taken up some of the slack.

Steve Lambert, general manager of Hollywood Casino, said the decrease in revenue generated by slots is attributed to the addition of other casinos in Maryland, especially Maryland Live Casino at Arundel Mills, stationed along Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

"It's been due to the added competition in Maryland; I can't say what kind of impact it will have on the future of the casino," Lambert said. "We knew Maryland Live was coming and its population and location would be a driving force."

Hollywood Casino was the first of five casinos slated to be built in Maryland after a 2008 referendum approved slot machines in the state. The Perryville casino opened its 75,000-square-foot location in September 2010 with 1,500 slot machines.

Four months later, the Casino at Ocean Downs near Ocean City, opened as a racino — half harness racetrack, half casino. In June 2012, Maryland Live Casino opened in Arundel Mills. Caesar's Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore is scheduled to open in 2014 and a casino in Prince George's County is set to open in 2016.

Director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency Stephen Martino, said Hollywood Casino in Perryville will also be impacted by the opening of Caesars Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore.

"Perryville will see another drop when Baltimore opens because it will be a closer casino for Baltimore residents," Martino said. "Some Perryville customers will want to see what the Baltimore casino is like and some will go back to their old habits in Perryville."

Martino said Hollywood Casino will continue to see fluctuations in revenue until all of the casinos in Maryland open.


"Over the long-term, I think there will be stabilization in the industry once we open all the casinos," Martino said.

In November 2012, 52 percent of Maryland voters approved Ballot Question 7, expanding gambling to legalize table games like blackjack, craps and roulette.

Hollywood Casino reduced its number of slot machines from 1,500 to 1,185 in early 2013 to make room for table games. The casino added 12 banking tables and eight non-banking tables, where players play against one another, not the casino.

Because of volume, a bigger house cut and the smaller net space needed, slots play typically generates more gross revenue for casinos; however, the addition of table games gave gamblers more options and the casinos the means to attract more customers.

Table games have brought in $11.6 million in revenue at Hollywood Casino since they were introduced in March 2013, but only account for 16 percent of the $76.5 million in total revenue generated by the casino through November, according to state figures.

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Since table games became available at Maryland Live Casino in April, they have brought in $132.7 million, or 33 percent of that casino's total revenue for the period.


At Perryville, total table games revenue was $1.1 million in November, about the same as October. Slots revenue was $5.9 million in October, compared with the $5.5 million November.

Hollywood Casino also has had to compete for clientele with Delaware Park Casino, which has long had table games.

Lambert said the addition of table games at Hollywood Casino has helped to increase the overall revenue and number of visitors to the casino.

"We're now a full-fledged casino versus the slot house," Lambert said. "Table games players bring in additional slot game players. They bring in their spouses, who may not play table games, but will play our slots."

Martino, of Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, said while the number of slot machines was reduced earlier in the year, the Hollywood Casino is seeing a per-day increase in slot gaming revenue.

"I think table games has been beneficial, not just for overall revenue, but positive in slot gaming revenue per day," Martino said.