First Maryland casino set to reopen June 19

Rocky Gap Casino Resort is set to reopen its doors June 19. (Courtesy Rocky Gap Casino Resort)

Rocky Gap Casino Resort, in Flintstone, Maryland, will reopen much of its casino floor, its restaurants and its hotel to the public June 19.

It is the first of Maryland’s six casinos to commit to a reopening date, following Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement that the state is lifting more restrictions, allowing casinos, restaurants and indoor shopping malls to enter Phase Two of reopening plans.

MGM National Harbor, the state’s largest casino, told WTOP it has not established a date to open to the public as of yet, but may finalize plans in the coming days.

Likewise, there has been no official reopening date announced by Live! Casino & Hotel or Baltimore’s Horseshoe casino.

Rocky Gap, in western Maryland on the Pennsylvania border in the Rocky Gap National Park on Lake Habeeb, reopened its golf course May 14, as well as its lake activities.

Per state guidelines, Rocky Gap will limit its casino and property to 50% of occupancy capacity, and some areas of the resort will remain closed during its initial reopening phase, including its spa and entertainment venue.

Maryland’s six casinos have generated no gaming revenue since they temporarily closed March 16 as part of the state’s effort to halt the spread of COVID-19, and are unlikely to generate pre-pandemic levels of gaming revenue with limits of 25% to 50% of customer capacity.

With Maryland’s fiscal year coming to a close at the end of June, total gaming revenue at the six casinos for the fiscal year is down nearly $373 million. Casino contributions to the state are down $149 million from fiscal 2019.

The largest share of casino contributions to Maryland goes to the state’s Education Trust Fund, which has seen contributions fall 22.5% because of the coronavirus casino shutdowns.

In fiscal 2019, the casinos generated record gaming revenue of $1.76 billion.

Casinos have been formulating reopening plans with aggressive new health and safety protocols that include everything from plexiglass dividers to disposable plates and utensils and sanitized poker chips.

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