Something pretty weird happened to casinos in Maryland last month, as their earnings dropped significantly all of a sudden. In fact, there are various reasons why this happened, and it’s somewhat difficult to point the finger at just one thing. When things like this happen, they’re usually due to a combination of many things that took place in the state. However, the cause is not what’s important right now, as we need to focus on the consequences.
The overall casino scene in the state of Maryland dropped by 8.9 percent when compared to October 2018, which is a significant drop overall. Translated into gross gaming revenue, that’s $143.89 million in all six venues that currently operate in the state.
The venue that took the biggest hit of them all was definitely MGM National Harbor, as it recorded the biggest decline. In fact, the GGR of the venue fell down 18.5 percent, earning only $59.89 million. That’s approximately $13.5 million less than what it managed to earn during the same period one year ago.
The other venue that also performed pretty poorly in October is Horseshoe Baltimore, which saw its revenue decrease 9.1 percent, earning just $19.1 million.
But not all of the venues reported a decline. In fact, the only bright spot in the Maryland casino landscape was Live! Casino, which was the only one to report improvement when compared to October 2018. Its gross gaming revenue improved by 1.3 percent, as it managed to earn a total of $47.6 million.
Since the beginning of 2019, the state of Maryland reported a total of four months where GGR dropped in a year-on-year comparison. However, October was definitely the month where the largest decline was reported overall. If we were to compare the first 10 months of 2019 to the same period of 2018, we could notice that there is a slight decline of 0.8 percent, with the take being $589.7 million.
The casinos in Maryland need to pay their tax, 30 percent of which goes to the Maryland Education Trust Fund. A total of $542.7 million was added during the last fiscal year.
Maryland’s lawmakers are now looking forward to using the newly received tax money from casinos to renovate schools and build new ones. In fact, they came up with a very ambitious plan for the renovation of the education system that would cost approximately $2.2 billion.
The state will issue bonds, and $125 million will be used from the Maryland Education Trust Funds in order to repay them. This will be repeated for 30 years before the debt is settled.
The House Speaker for Maryland, Adrienne Jones, wants to execute their education improvement plan soon. She stated that they would deny their students a chance to have a brighter future with every second they wait. She stated that they were committed to making the schools in Maryland the best in the US.
More than two years ago, a new venue opened in Maryland, and its name was MGM National Harbor. Back then, the existing gambling facilities suffered simply because MGM was much bigger compared to them, as it was considered the best casino in the area.
However, this made other casinos rethink their strategies and adopt a different approach, investing more money in improving their offer. That seems to have paid off, as the numbers presented by Live! Casino are a pretty obvious display that MGM is not the main casino in Maryland anymore. In fact, some sort of balance has been restored.