The Lottery and Gaming Control Agency announced on Thursday that soaring monthly revenues gave Maryland casinos their best month ever in April, 2016, with revenue topping USD 100 million.
With a combined revenue of USD 103.8 million, the five casinos surpassed the previous monthly record of USD 98.9 million, set in July, last year, 2015.
This feat marks the fifth straight month that the combined casino revenues of this year have out shone the revenues from last year, giving a year-over-year increase of 16.8 per cent, which translates to more than USD 14.9 million in cash.
Strong economy, great results
The main reason for this uplift in number can be attributed to the favorable economic conditions in the area and a good dose of casino marketing programs that have been doled out in Maryland.
Alan Woinski, the President of Gaming USA Corp. gave credit to the better economic condition as this always means people are able to willing to spend more of their entertainment needs; he said, ‘”It's a healthy market. The economy is better, there is job growth and there are lower gas prices. More people will jump in the car and go places.”
With the first Maryland Casino opening in 2010, they have had a few good years to mold their offerings to suit the market. These include eliminating some slot machines and adding more profitable table games, which can now be found at Maryland Live and Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.
As a result of these directed tweaks made by the casino, Horseshoe Casino generated USD 30.2 million in revenues from slot machines and table games alone in the month of April, producing a 31.9 per cent year-over-year increase, compared to April, 2015; and that marks the best monthly financial performance for the casino, since they opened in August 2014.
Last year, however, the monthly revenues for Horseshoe had dipped below USD 24 million in April, May and June; this was mainly due to the April 2015 riots, which followed after Freddie Gray's death from injuries sustained in police custody; this ended up hurting the casino's earnings in a similar way to the city’s other main attractions, which were also adversely effected.
Aside from the more obvious benefits of increasing revenue, it should be noted that a portion of casino revenues support the Maryland Education Trust Fund, which is a minority-owned and women-owned businesses, local impact grants and the state's horse racing industry. Having one of the highest casino tax rates in the country, with 67 per cent of all gross gaming revenue going to the state, the Education Trust Fund ended up receiving USD 36 million in April this year.
It comes as no surprise that Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director, Gordon Medenica, had the following to say about the growth, “This is another great milestone for Maryland's casinos. We're looking forward to continued growth of the state's casino industry, and of course, that means more funding for important state programs.”
Similarly, in a prepared statement Erin Chamberlin, the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the casino, had this to say about the improving revenues, “Our April revenues represent a high point in what has been an ongoing trend of strong year-over-year growth resulting from innovative marketing and promotions initiatives as well as a comprehensive mix of best-in-class entertainment offerings,”
Needless to say that the Maryland casinos need to constantly keep innovating if they are to effectively fend off competition from the upcoming gambling giant, MGM National Harbor in Prince George's County, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
In announcement made recently by MGM, it is now known that they will partner with Prince George's Community College and provide a dealer school training program starting from May; this will allow MGM to contribute to the local community by creating nearly 1000 jobs for its table games.