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Maryland casinos take a terrible tumble

Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino posts the biggest decline – a 61% decrease in March revenue compared to the same month of last year

Above: Another casualty of coronavirus. (americancasinoguidebook.com)

Nearly $100 million in gambling revenues in Maryland were wiped out last month, triggered by the shutdown of all six casinos by Governor Larry Hogan to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

In normal times, the casinos operate 24/7, but as of 12 a.m. on March 16, they were ordered closed as part of the state’s attempt to reduce the spread of the highly contagious virus.

Casino revenues plummeted from $163 million in March 2019 to $68 million last month – a drop of $95 million.

The casinos are expected to stay shut through April – and perhaps longer – as part of social distancing and stay-at-home orders by the government.

Ailing Horseshoe

For Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino, the March results were the worst in the state gaming industry – a decrease of 61%, according to figures released today by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

This comes at a time when Horseshoe had already slipped behind its previous years’ revenues, with successive record lows recorded in June 2019, August 2019 and February 2020. (See the details here, here and here.)

Horseshoe needs about twice of last month’s take to be economically viable, an analyst tells The Brew.

For the first time since it opened in August 2014, the Russell Street casino earned less than $10 million last month.

According to a Wall Street analyst interviewed by The Brew, the casino needs about twice that revenue stream, or $20 million a month, to make it economically viable over the long run. He asked for anonymity in return for speaking candidly.

The casino is operated by Caesars Entertainment and owned by CBAC Gaming, a consortium that includes Caesars, Jack Entertainment, Stronach Group, Caves Valley Partners and affiliates of Theo C. Rodgers.

Maryland’s two largest casinos, MGM National Harbor and Live! Casino & Hotel, jointly took in $51 million last month – far below the $119 million they collected in March 2019.

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