In the waning autumn light, the casinos of Maryland felt the cooling touch of November’s chill—not only in the air but in their coffers as well. Their collective efforts yielded a bountiful harvest, but one not quite as abundant as the past year’s yield. The gross gaming revenue (GGR) for November stood at a commendable $157.7 million, though it trailed behind the previous year’s mark by 3.5%.
The tapestry of Maryland’s gaming realm is woven with six commercial casinos, bastions of entertainment bound by a state law that forbids the smoke-filled salons of yesteryear. Their incomes, as tallied by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, encompass the revenues from both the jingling concert of slot machines and the sophisticated dance of table games.
As $105.2 million flowed from the slots and $52.5 million from the tables during November, this sum did not yet account for the sports betting figures, which were to be revealed in a subsequent announcement, anticipations held high for the encroaching decrescendo of the year.
MGM National Harbor, a glistening citadel on the periphery of Washington, DC, held its dominance in the arena, albeit with its November GGR at about $66.4 million—a roughly 7% dip from the previous November. With its 2,275 slots and 207 tables, it stood as a testament to the ebbs and flows of fortune.
In contrast, the Cordish Companies’ Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland, standing vigilant by BWI airport, boasted a modest conquest. With its 3,850 slots and 179 tables, it turned the tides to a 1.6% increase over the prior year, garnering $58 million.
The Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, under the banner of Caesars Entertainment, languished in a distant third. With $14.6 million reaped from its 1,374 slots and 122 table games, it wrestled with an almost 11% retraction in its November numbers.
Meanwhile, the trio of smaller resort-style casinos contributed $18.4 million to the coffers. The Ocean Downs, Hollywood Casino Perryville, and Rocky Gap chronicled their own tales of fluctuating fortunes in their quest for prosperity.
The financial narrative of the year revealed that Maryland’s casinos had pocketed approximately $1.22 billion from slots and $594.7 million from table games, cumulatively bringing their spoils to $1.817 billion. But even this sizable bounty, when juxtaposed against last year’s treasure of $1.885 billion, spoke of a mild contraction.
The nation’s casinos elsewhere told a different story, with states like Nevada basking in the glory of a revenue boom. The Silver State’s streak of multimillion-dollar gains was a dazzling contrast to Maryland’s gentle descent.
The slots of Maryland have held their ground, displaying a slight uptick, yet it’s the table games that staggered, shouldering a notable 11% drop equating to a $74 million shortfall when compared to the year-to-date figures of the closing period.
The intricacies of gaming revenues, especially the specifics of individual table game performance, remain veiled in Maryland, unlike the open books of Nevada. Hence, dissecting the cause of table game downturns requires a touch of speculation, hinting at perhaps a blend of leaner house win rates coupled with a scaled-back patronage.
Yet, silver linings abound as the dawn of Maryland sports betting brought fresh vigor to the scene. Since its inception in late 2021 and the subsequent rollout of online betting a year later, the state’s sportsbooks have offset some of the losses seen on the casino floors.
From midsummer to All Hallows’ Eve of 2023, these digital and physical bookmakers have collected $99.4 million in GGR—a handsome sum, albeit one shared with industry titans like DraftKings and FanDuel, who stand as partners in this flourishing domain.