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Md. casinos total $13.5 million in April slots revenue

Maryland’s two casinos brought in $13.5 million in revenue in April, the Maryland State Lottery Agency announced Tuesday.

Hollywood Casino Perryville generated more than $10 million, or an average of $223.38 for each of the 1,500 machines at the Cecil County facility. That’s more than the $210 per machine the state said it would average before the casinos opened.

The Casino at Ocean Downs, which has 750 machines, made $3.5 million for the month, or an average of $155.94.

Revenue at each of the casinos has risen steadily since the beginning of the year. The Perryville facility generated $9.8 million in March, while the Ocean Downs casino made $3.25 million last month. Perryville’s best month was October, when it brought in $11.3 million. April’s revenue is the highest since October.

“Casino gaming revenue continues to trend in the right direction,” said Stephen L. Martino, director of the Maryland State Lottery Agency. “I think the numbers coming out of Ocean Downs are particularly heartening.”

Ocean Downs has brought in $12.9 million since its opening in January. While the casino started slowly, lottery and casino officials have said the warmer weather will help Ocean Downs because of its proximity to Ocean City and its influx of tourists during the summer.

Casino at Oceans Downs officials did not return phone messages for comment.

“In the case of Hollywood Casino Perryville, I think they continue to do a particularly good job promoting the casino and providing a lot of incentive for players to come up,” Martino said.

The casino had partnered with the lottery agency to give away lottery tickets this weekend to “Club Hollywood” card carriers. The top prize was $10,000. The casino also gave away laptop computers and partnered with Playboy on a promotion at the end of April for the casino’s new Playboy-themed slot machines.

For the Easter holiday weekend, Hollywood Casino Perryville also had more giveaway prizes and a brunch for visitors. Looking ahead, the casino will give away 45 gift cards for $100 worth of gasoline on Saturday, and will give away a 2011 Ford Mustang May 14. That weekend, Hollywood Casino Perryville Director of Marketing Marc DeLeo said he hopes will be the first weekend the casino can stay open until 4 a.m.

Gov. Martin O’Malley is expected to sign legislation May 10 that would allow casinos to stay open later, after casino operators have said that they often turn away a good amount of business by closing doors at 2 a.m. The legislation would allow casinos to stay open later only on Friday and Saturday nights.

“We have a plan in place, we have staff ready,” DeLeo said. “We’re ready to rock and roll.”

Having better weather has bumped the height of daily business to later in the evening, after players have enjoyed their day, DeLeo said. Staying open later will help keep casinos steady throughout the warmer months when visitors might be tempted to spend discretionary money on summer activities, he said.

Between both of the casinos, the state has received $77.1 million for fiscal 2011. The largest portion of the April revenue, $6.6 million, will go to the state’s education fund, $300,000 more than last month. The casinos keep one-third of the revenue.

Pennsylvania’s 26,508 slot machines have been averaging $266.67 per machine for the month as of Apr. 24, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

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