15 Sep 2014
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Maryland Live! Pulls in $28 Million in First Month

The casino in Anne Arundel County contributed $13 million to the state's education trust fund.

Maryland Live! Pulls in $28 Million in First Month Maryland Live! Pulls in $28 Million in First Month

The Maryland Live! Casino at Arundel Mills in Hanover generated more than $28 million in revenue during its first month of operation, with each slot machine collecting more than $359 each day in June.

The casino generated about 70 percent of all the slots-related revenue in Maryland, and pumped $13 million into state’s education trust fund, according to figures from the Maryland Lottery.

Maryland Live! and has 3,171 game terminals in operation and will add 1,575 more by the end of the fall. It is one of three active casinos in the state.

“I think it went well. I think the numbers are impressive, but we’re not surprised by them,” said Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino in an interview with Patch. “Given the fact that Maryland Live! is the largest casino and that there’s still more machines that are coming online, there are things that we look at that weigh how things ended up. But these are strong numbers.”

Overall, Maryland’s three casinos generated $40,835,001.25 in June. That includes revenue from Maryland Live! as well as smaller facilities in Perryville and Ocean Downs. The Hollywood Casino in Perryville generated $7.9 million, while the Casino at Ocean Downs generated $4.4 million.

The developer of Maryland Live! said they were pleased with the first month.

“The results are right in line with projections,” said Joe Weinberg, a managing partner with The Cordish Cos., in a statement. “Approximately 500,000 people visited the casino during its first 24 days of operation.”

Maryland Live! officials said the casino distributed $169 million to customers through the month.

Martino said that Maryland Lottery has shied away from making predictions on future revenue. Projecting the path for Maryland Live! is especially tricky since there will be more slots and amenities added there later this year.

“It’s obviously much too early, and we have the initial excitement of the facility we’re working through,” he said. “It’s going to take a while to see what the pattern is at Maryland Live! And by a while, I mean 18 to 24 months.”

Under agreements with the state, all casinos distribute 48 percent of all revenue to the Maryland Education Trust Fund. For June, that figure was about $19.8 million overall and $13.8 million from Maryland Live!

Maryland Live! took 33 percent of its revenue—or about $9.3 million—as its own share, with about $5 million left for local impact grants, the horse racing industry, the Maryland Lottery and minority businesses.

With Maryland Live! removed, revenue from the other casinos in the state declined by about 2 percent.

Officials in the state of Maryland have considered expanding gambling to include facilities in Prince George’s County. Proposals have called for the approval of live table games to go along with it.

A task force on the issue last month failed to reach a consensus on the issue, but Gov. Martin O’Malley has not ruled out a special session later this year.

Officials for Maryland Live! have opposed efforts to expand gambling to new sites, arguing that it would hurt their chances of getting established.

Weinberg noted that visitors to Maryland Live! have come from areas in the Washington, DC, metro area and hinted that a facility in Prince George’s County would cut into its customer base.

“Critically, they came from a very wide geographic area, with roughly half of our visitors coming from the District of Columbia, the Maryland counties surrounding DC, and Virginia," Weinberg said. "It is clear that if we are going to continue to meet the state’s expectations, we have to be able to continue to draw visitors from these areas.”

Martino, for his part, said the lottery had no stance on expanded gambling.

“Our position is that we’re going to implement the policy passed by the legislature,” he said.

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