MD casinos have banner month; $6.5M for Purse Dedication Account

Maryland’s six casinos posted a single-month revenue record of $169.1 million in March, up 3.6% from the previous record of $163.2 million in March 2019, according to statistics released April 5 by Maryland Lottery and Gaming.

Total revenue from video lottery terminals for March 2021 was $112.7 million. Of that amount, 6% at five casinos and 2.5% at the sixth goes to the Purse Dedication Account. The PDA earned $6.5 million, up 32.6% from $4.9 million in February 2021 and up 6.5% from $6.1 million in March 2019.

In 2020, all six casinos were closed from March 16 to June 19 due to COVID-19 shutdowns. The PDA earned $2.5 million in revenue during the first half of March last year.

In March 2021, the Racetrack Facilities Renewal Account, which provides matching money for capital improvement projects and is a key part of the funding for projects under the Racing and Community Development Act of 2020, received $1 million from its 1% share of VLT revenue.

The state’s 50% capacity restriction for casinos was lifted March 12 with two exceptions. Under local jurisdiction orders, MGM National Harbor’s capacity was raised from 25% to 50% on March 12, and Horseshoe Casino’s capacity was raised from 25% to 50% on March 26. The remaining four casinos have no capacity limitations, but not all slot machine and table game seats can be occupied because all casinos must continue to comply with social-distancing guidelines, according to Maryland Lottery and Gaming.

Based on comparisons of figures from March 2019, Hollywood Casino in Perryville had the highest revenue increase in March 2021 at 21%, followed by Casino at Ocean Downs (13.3%), Live! Casino & Hotel (9.2%), Rocky Gap Casino & Resort (8.6%) and MGM National Harbor (6%). Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, which operated at 25% capacity for most of the month, was down 22.7% in revenue.

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