State Casino Revenues Down $149M Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

downloadWith Maryland’s six casinos closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, total gaming revenues are down by nearly $372.5 million compared to last year, while casino contributions to the state are down more than $148.8 million.

Maryland’s casinos, racetracks, and simulcast betting facilities have been closed since March 16 in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus infections. Governor Larry Hogan yesterday announced that these facilities can resume operations beginning June 9 at 5:00 pm.

According to Maryland Lottery and Gaming:

Through the first 11 months of Fiscal Year 2020 (July 2019 through May 2020), Maryland’s casinos have generated $1,245,029,239 in gaming revenue. The total is $372,488,769 (-23.0%) less than the $1,617,518,008 generated through the first 11 months of FY 2019.

Casino contributions to the state for the first 11 months of FY 2020 are $514,549,290, a decrease of $148,818,204 (-22.4%) compared to the $663,367,494 in contributions during the first 11 months of FY 2019.

Casino contributions to the Education Trust Fund for the first 11 months of FY 2020 are $385,895,410, a decrease of $111,720,382 (-22.5%) compared to the $497,615,792 in ETF contributions during the first 11 months of FY 2019.

A year ago, casino gaming revenues in May of 2019 were $152,275,799. Contributions to the state in that month totaled $63,655,376, including $47,747,479 for the Education Trust Fund. Casino gaming revenues also support communities and jurisdictions where the casinos are located, as well as Maryland’s horse racing industry.

“The casinos have worked diligently to create thorough reopening plans that cover everything from sanitation to social distancing and temperature screenings,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director Gordon Medenica. “When the casinos reopen, they likely will be limited to 25% to 50% of their capacity, and customers will notice many other changes, such as Plexiglass shields, to ensure social distancing. But we are confident they’ll be ready to operate safely and effectively.”

In 2018, Maryland voters approved an amendment to the State Constitution to safeguard State video lottery terminal revenues for education purposes. As described in the bill and the ballot question, the supplemental funding must total at least $125 million in fiscal 2020, $250 million in fiscal 2021, and $375 million in fiscal 2022.

In all subsequent years, 100% of the gaming revenues dedicated to public education must be used for supplemental funding.

Maryland has six privately owned casinos that offer both slot machines and table games: MGM National Harbor in Prince George’s County; Live! Casino & Hotel in Anne Arundel County; Horseshoe Casino Baltimore in Baltimore City; Ocean Downs Casino in Worcester County; Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County; and Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Allegany County.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

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