The Maryland casino industry has slowly started to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and March provided the biggest month in the state’s history.

The total gross gaming revenue (GGR) for Maryland casinos in March was $169.1 million, shattering the previous record of $163.2 million in March 2019.

March has traditionally been a strong month for the casino industry, but that was not the case in 2020. Governor Larry Hogan began shutting down these properties in March 2020 in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Hogan has slowly started to lift restrictions on various industries in the state, and the casino industry received a boost in the early part of March. The big numbers reported stem from casino gamblers being anxious to return to the casinos.

Last month was also very important for the state in terms of tax revenue, as more than $70 million was collected from the casino industry. Maryland, like most states, is looking for new revenue sources to help it recover from the financial impacts of the pandemic.

State officials and casino executives are hopeful that the industry will continue to post some impressive numbers, but health officials aren’t so sure. The COVID-19 numbers are once again on the rise in Maryland, and it could lead to more restrictions for casinos.

Sports betting is also coming to Maryland casinos at some point in the coming months, and retail sportsbooks will help bring new business. These properties will need to remain open if in-person sports betting and casino gambling will be available.

MGM Once Again Leads the Way

While there are other casino options in Maryland, a “Big Three” has emerged in the last few years. The MGM National Harbor has long been the most popular spot in the state, while Live! Casino and Hotel and Horseshoe Baltimore are not far behind. While the BetMGM Casino app is not available in Maryland, players in NJ, PA & MI can access the app and online platform.

MGM National Harbor posted a gross gaming revenue of $66.5 million during March, and those numbers were more than six percent larger than the March 2019 totals. MGM is located close to Washington D.C., and it is in an area that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Live! has become a real threat to the status of MGM National Harbor, and GGR at this location for March was just over $61 million. This figure was a near 10 percent increase from March 2019, and it continues to close the gap on the leader in the state.

Horseshoe Baltimore has a ways to go if it is going to become one of the two biggest casino options in the state. That location had a GGR of $19.7 million for March, and that was actually a decrease of nearly 25 percent from the March 2019 figures.

The three other casinos in Maryland combined for just $21.7 million in gross gaming revenue, but these properties are much smaller in size.

April numbers may still look good because of the NCAA Basketball Tournaments. The Women’s Tournament concluded on April 4, while the Men’s tournament wrapped up on April 5. Both events should lead to great betting numbers.