Maryland casinos holding up, considering tough restrictions

MGM National Harbor in Prince George’s County is consistency the highest revenue-generating casino in Maryland. (Courtesy MGM National Harbor)

Maryland’s three largest casinos have been limited to 25% guest capacity since mid-December, and while that has noticeably cut gaming revenue, the impact hasn’t been as severe as the capacity limits would imply.

Overall, Maryland’s six casinos generated $128.8 million in gaming revenue in January. That’s down 11.5% from a year ago, when casinos were operating at full capacity. MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino & Hotel and Horseshoe Casino were operating at 25% capacity in January, while the state’s three smaller casinos were operating at 50% capacity.

January gaming revenue at MGM National Harbor was $50.5 million, down 13.7% from a year earlier. Gaming revenue at Live! was $47.8 million, down 7.7%. Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino has been hit the hardest, with January gaming revenue of $13.8 million — down 28.7%.

Hollywood Casino’s $6.8 million in gaming revenue last month was down 11.8%. Gaming revenue at Ocean Downs was $5.7 million, down 5.9%. Rocky Gap Casino had $4.2 million in gaming revenue last month, down 4.9% from a year ago.

Prior to the new 25% restrictions at Maryland’s three largest casinos, they’d been operating at 50% capacity and were logging monthly gaming revenue that was close to or matching levels from the previous year.

Another recent change for casino-goers? Gamblers can now eat again. MGM National Harbor reopened six restaurants late last month when Prince George’s County lifted its ban on indoor dining. Restaurants are currently limited to 25% capacity.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming posts monthly and year-to-date casino revenue online.

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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