No casinos means no money for Maryland

Live Casino Hotel in Hanover, Md.
Live! Casino & Hotel in Arundel Mills saw March gaming revenue fall 55.6% compared with a year earlier, to $24.8 million. (Courtesy Live! Casino & Hotel/Courtesy Cordish Companies)

Maryland’s six casinos closed March 16 under guidelines to halt the spread of the coronavirus, and it is not just casino operators who are losing revenue.

The State of Maryland collects a large chunk of casino gaming revenue every month, most of it for the Education Trust Fund, and with all six casinos closed the entire month of April, it collected no casino revenue.

In April 2019, it collected $60.2 million in revenue from casinos.

“These are truly unprecedented times,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director Gordon Medenica. “The casinos generate vital revenue for the state, but we remain focused on the health and safety of the casinos’ patrons and employees as we plan for reopening.”

When Maryland’s casinos may be allowed to reopen has not been determined. Maryland Lottery and Gaming said it is working with each casino’s management to create detailed safety measures and cleaning protocols that, once approved, will be implemented when the casinos are permitted to reopen.

“One advantage (casinos) have is that they already have extensive surveillance and security measures in place, which gives them unique capabilities for monitoring their patrons’ adherence to social distancing and other safety protocols,” Medenica said.

Through the first 10 months of Maryland’s 2020 fiscal year, the six casinos have generated $1.245 billion in gaming revenue, down 15% from the same period during the 2019 fiscal year.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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