Lost state revenue from coronavirus-closed Maryland casinos nears $149M

Maryland’s casinos, including MGM National Harbor, have been closed since March 16. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

No gambling means no gaming revenue for Maryland casinos and that means no contributions from casinos to Maryland state coffers.

And it is adding up.

With Maryland’s fiscal year coming to a close at the end of June, total gaming revenue at the states six casinos for the fiscal year is down $372.5 million. Casino contributions to the state are down nearly $149 million from the 2019 fiscal year.

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.

Through the first 11 months of fiscal 2020, Maryland’s casinos have generated a total of $1.235 billion in gaming revenue, down 23% from the same period last fiscal year.

The closures have impacted thousands of furloughed casino employees.

Maryland’s casinos were closed March 16 as part of the state’s effort to halt the spread of COVID-19.

When the casinos reopen, they are unlikely to generate the same level of gaming revenue they did before the pandemic. They will likely be limited to 25% to 50% of customer capacity.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming is working with each casino’s management to create detailed safety measures and cleaning protocols for reopening.

MGM National Harbor and Live! Casino & Hotel already released details about its reopening plans, which include everything from fewer slot machines, to sanitized poker chips, disposable restaurant menus and disposable plates and utensils.

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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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