The state of Maryland had quite the fiscal year.
On August 12, the Maryland Lottery website announced via press release a number of $1.31 billion for the 2019 fiscal year in its annual report. Of that money, Maryland’s casinos took in a record $542.7 million to fund state education.
In terms of total gaming revenue, the six casinos in the state (Rocky Gap Casino Resort, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, Hollywood Casino Perryville, Live! Casino & Hotel, Ocean Downs, MGM National Harbor), added a whopping $1.76 billion which was $81.4 million more than 2018.
The record-breaking $542.7 million put towards the Education Trust Fund was up $46.0 million from the 2018 fiscal year. According to WAMU, the money made contributes to the educational reform efforts recommended by the Kirwan Commission. Though the state's casino numbers were down in June the fiscal year was very successful overall
The Education Trust Fund has seen just north of $3.0 billion in contributions since the very first casino, the Hollywood Casino Perryville, launched in September 2010.
The Maryland Lottery says that the ETF supports early childhood, public elementary and secondary education, public school construction and capital improvement projects.
Of the revenue generated, $92.8 million went to local aid which was split between local jurisdictions and local impact grants.
Also, $76.6 million went to Maryland’s horse racing industry which was split between the Horse Racing Purse Dedication accounts and the Racetrack Facility Renewal. Finally responsible gaming programs received $5.3 million.
The newest casino in Maryland, the MGM Grand National Harbor which launched in December 2016, has been a true player in the market.
It has contributed just north of $277 million to Maryland with Maryland Live Casino coming in a close second at $243 million. Horseshoe Casino came in third with more than $98 million.
“We are a significant contributor to funding, but we are by no means the bulk of the funding,” Director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming Agency Gordon Medenica told WAMU 88.5. “What the lockbox does is make sure that the casino money supplements education funding and does not supplant other funding sources.”
Maryland state officials will be using the lock box to help pay for the first two years of recommendations made by the Kirwan Commission which will total a whopping $725 million.
On top of that, $130 million more is dependent on the representatives discovering a new source of revenue for Maryland.
The Education Trust Fund represents roughly 30 percent of the entire casino gaming revenue.
Earlier in 2019, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan pushed legislation for the Education Trust Fund and the education funding bill without a required signature.
“Education is our top priority, and with the passage of the lock box amendment last year, our students and classrooms will benefit from a contribution of nearly $543 million to the Education Trust Fund,” Hogan wrote in the Maryland Lottery press release.
All in all, the state of Maryland continues to flourish with its rising casino industry. Expect more additions to current casinos and new casinos to pop up soon. The progress is evident.
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