Sun Investigates

Maryland Live dominates on slots, but has little competition

Maryland Live officials often tout the Hanover facility's standing as the highest-grossing casino in the Mid-Atlantic when only slots revenue is taken into account.

In fact, the casino has been generating 25 percent more slots revenue than the second-place casino, Parx in Philadelphia.


Maryland Live is situated amid some of the country's wealthiest counties, and faces only far-flung competition: Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, W.Va., is 75 minutes away, while the much smaller Hollywood Casino in Perryville is an hour up Interstate 95.

Parx competes with five other casinos that take no longer than an hour and 15 minutes to reach. Those casinos brought in a combined $72 million in slots revenue in February.


Last week Maryland Live began offering table games, too. And David Cordish, the developer and owner, said his casino is prepared for increased competition from the Horseshoe Baltimore, scheduled to open next year, and a casino in Prince George's County that could open as early as mid-2016.

Cordish is planning to build a hotel adjacent to his casino, and hopes it will include convention space. A 50-table poker room is scheduled to be completed this summer. Other than that, the facility will not need to evolve to compete in the market, he said.

Caesars, owner of the Baltimore license, has escalated the competition by spending an added $25 million to build a Horseshoe, which it considers a premier brand that appeals to a young and affluent crowd.

And Caesars is continuing to work to develop retail possibilities in the corridor between the casino site and M&T; Bank Stadium; Maryland Live is next to Arundel Mills mall and its array of stores.

Comparing Maryland Live's revenue to casinos on the Las Vegas strip, where there are more than 45,000 slot machines but not more than 2,500 in any single facility, is difficult. Nevada releases data on total gambling revenue and does not break the data down by facility.

Maryland Live, with more than 4,000 slots, generates more than $300 per day, per machine. Most terminals in Las Vegas make half that.

Maryland Live's immediate success is not unprecedented. It is on pace to bring in $450 million in its first full year; the casino at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, which opened in 2011, made nearly $630 million on slots in its first year.


Casino slots revenues, February 2013

1. Maryland Live Maryland $38,335,309

2. PARX Pennsylvania $30,469,656

3. Borgata New Jersey $26,078,047

4. Rivers Pennsylvania $24,444,403


5. Sands Bethlehem Pennsylvania $23,537,900

6. Harrah's Chester Pennsylvania $20,360,153

7. Penn National Pennsylvania $19,506,358

8. The Meadows Pennsylvania $18,162,665

9. Harrah's New Jersey $17,520,339

10. Mohegan Sun Connecticut $17,370,134


11. Sugarhouse Pennsylvania $16,485,533

12. Delaware Park Delaware $12,347,800

13. Dover Downs Delaware $12,013,100

14. Caesar's New Jersey $11,894,521

15. Mount Airy Pennsylvania $10,602,468

Source: Maryland Live