Horseshoe Casino posts revenue gain for second straight month

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Horseshoe Casino

After almost a year and a half of sliding revenue, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore’s luck appears to be turning around.

The latest monthly report from Maryland Lottery and Gaming says the casino drew $22.8 million in revenue from slots and tables in June, a 3.3 percent bump from one year earlier. Perhaps more notably, it’s the second straight month in which Horseshoe’s revenue climbed from the year before; in May, it rose 2 percent.

These modest upticks have broken a 16-month spell–December 2016 through April 2018– in which the casino’s revenue fell by 13 percent on average. Horseshoe has suffered in the shadow of the higher-end MGM National Harbor, self-branded as “Vegas on the Potomac,” which opened in late 2016.

MGM–which drew upwards of $59 million in revenue in June, just for perspective–has pushed the state’s gambling proceeds to new heights. In May, Maryland’s six casinos brought in a record $156.6 million. Last month’s statewide mark of $130.5 million didn’t quite approach that degree of success, but it was still a 14 percent increase from a year before.

Horsehoe’s June revenue bump was actually the smallest among the state’s casinos. Live! Casino and Hotel in Arundel Mills saw its proceeds climb 15 percent from June 2017. Hollywood Casino Perryville’s revenue rose 4.5 percent, and Rocky Gap Casino in Cumberland saw an increase of 5 percent. Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin is reaping rewards from adding table games last December; earnings rose nearly 30 percent in June.

In an emailed statement, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director Gordon Medenica said the recent revenue increases for casinos other than MGM are “a good sign.”

“We’re seeing the stabilization of the market share changes that occurred after MGM’s opening a year and a half ago,” Medenica said. “The six casinos are now finding their niche in the marketplace as they continue to grow and maintain their customer base.”

Caesars Entertainment Corp., which owns part of Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, has not responded to a request for comment.

Horseshoe’s success is arguably all for the better if that money makes it to the schools. Under state law, 15 percent of all table game revenues go to the state’s Education Trust Fund, and 5 percent go to local jurisdictions. For Horseshoe, that meant nearly $1.5 million of June proceeds from table games went to education, and $486,000 went to local jurisdictions.

Per The Sun, if voters approve a ballot measure this November, Maryland’s constitution would be amended to require that all casino contributions to the Education Trust Fund be devoted to supplementing education expenses by 2022.

This story has been updated.

Ethan McLeod
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