The entire US casino industry is starting to recover after a long and difficult 12 months from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maryland has seen significant growth in casino gaming over the last few months, and the state could be on track to set new records later this year.
Some properties in the state are still operating under COVID-19 restrictions while others are seemingly back to normal. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming group oversees casino gaming in the state, and it has just released the April 2021 revenue numbers.
The total revenue at the six Maryland casinos in 2021 was $162.1 million, which is the third-best month that the state has ever seen. The gaming industry actually brought in $169 million in revenue in March, which is the current record for the state.
All of the casinos in the state of Maryland were closed in April 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic and so the best comparison to make is by looking at the April 2019 figures. The total gaming revenue in April 2019 was just $145 million, which is nearly 12 percent less than the April 2021 total.
Even the properties with minimal COVID-19 restrictions in place are not seeing the same amount of traffic as what was common before the pandemic began. Once all six casinos in the state are back up and running at full capacity there could be new records set in the state.
The state is also looking to legalize sports betting by the end of 2021, and this will help the state recover some of the financial loss from 2020. Both retail and online sports betting will be approved, and this could become a huge sports betting market.
Education Trust Fund Receives Funds
Each individual casino property is enjoying the bounce back from casino gamblers, but it is the Education Trust Fund that is reaping the most benefits. The majority of casino gaming revenue goes to the Education Trust Fund, and there has been a huge growth in how much has been paid out.
In April the ETF received more than $50 million from casino revenue, which was a growth of more than 12 percent year-over-year. The total tax revenue that was collected by the state in April was $69.9 million.
MGM National Harbor was the clear leader in the Mayland casino industry in April with a revenue of more than $62 million. This was a 2.5% increase from the April 2019 numbers, and this was done despite having just 50 percent capacity. Maryland casinos were closed in April 2020.
MGM National Harbor was one of just two properties in the state that still had restrictions in place last month. The other, Horseshoe Casino, posted a slight decrease in revenue from 2019.
Live! Casino & Hotel was the next biggest casino in Maryland in the month of April according to revenue. This property brought in more than $58 million, and that was actually a jump of more than 21 percent from the April 2019 totals.
Online and mobile casinos are not legal in Maryland so keen players need to visit one of the state’s casinos for a flutter. With the introduction of sports betting later in the year, maybe one day online casinos will also be available to players in the state.