Maryland’s six commercial casinos combined to set a single-month record with $169.2 million in revenue in March, a month when coronavirus-related capacity limits began to disappear.
One year on from the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down casinos around the country, the financial figures for March are welcome news in the Old Line State.
That March figure — $169,179,016, to be exact — was an increase of $43 million from the February revenue of $126,208,025.
Maryland casinos can now operate at full capacity with two exceptions: MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill and Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. Both of them raised their capacity limits from 25% to 50% in March. The state’s other four casinos now can run at 100% capacity, albeit with some empty spaces at slot machines and gaming tables to continue meeting social distancing guidelines.
The March revenue broke the state record set exactly two years earlier. In March 2019, Maryland casinos combined for $163,262,848 in revenue.
According to figures posted by Maryland Lottery and Gaming, five of the six casinos posted increases in revenue compared to 24 months earlier. Comparisons to March 2019 are more useful than 2020 because the casinos closed on March 16, 2020, as part of a nationwide effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. The facilities reopened on June 19 with capacity limitations and, again with two exceptions, are just now going full tilt.
MGM National Harbor led the way in total revenue (slot machines plus table games) for March with $66.5 million, 6% higher than March 2019. Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover followed closely at $61.1 million (9.2% higher than 24 months earlier). Hollywood Casino Perryville had the biggest spike compared to two years earlier, up 21% to $8.7 million. Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin reported $7.5 million in revenue for March (13.3% higher than March 2019) and Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Flintstone had $5.6 million (up 8.6%)
Horseshoe Casino — again with capacity limits still in place — was the only Maryland casino not to match its output from two years earlier, missing it by 22.7%. It drew $19.8 million in March 2021 revenue.
The casinos contributed $71 million to Maryland’s coffers in March, with $51.6 million going to the Education Trust Fund.
The gross terminal revenue from Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) hit $112.7 million in March, a 33.1% increase from $84.7 million in February. Revenue from table games rose to $56.4 million from $41.5 million, a 35.9% jump.
Next month is guaranteed to be 100% better in a year-over-year comparison no matter what the final tally is — in April 2020, the first full month of the shutdown, Maryland casinos drew no revenue.
In addition to the good news for casinos, sports betting is a process that is being worked out in Maryland. The Maryland legislature has been hammering out details of statewide sports wagering, which bettors approved in November 2020.