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Maryland casino revenue declines in May

Maryland saw its first decline in slots revenue in 2011 after its two casinos brought in $266,537 less in May than in April.

The casinos brought in $13.2 million in revenue last month, the Maryland State Lottery Agency announced Monday.

Hollywood Casino Perryville generated more than $9.6 million, or an average of $206.59 for each of the 1,500 machines at the Cecil County facility. That average is less 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 $3.7 million for the month, or an average of $158.61.

Click here to see our interactive slot machine with revenue figures dating back to January.

The Perryville facility generated more than $10 million in April, while the Ocean Downs casino brought in $3.5 million. Perryville’s best performance was in October, when it brought in $11.3 million in its first full month of operation. April’s revenue was the highest since October.

“We wouldn’t be surprised for [Perryville’s] numbers to dip modestly,” said Stephen L. Martino, director of the Maryland State Lottery Agency. “They’re competing with the same things that people do on vacation, and with people going out of town.”

Ocean Downs has brought in $16.6 million since its opening Jan. 4. While the winter was slow for the casino, lottery and casino officials have said Ocean Downs’ revenue will be based more on the seasons. Martino said that Ocean Downs’ revenue has gone up, and is expected to continue to do so during the summer because of visitors coming to nearby Ocean City and the beginning of the Ocean Downs live racing season June 19.

Casino at Ocean Downs officials did not return phone messages seeking comment.

Marc DeLeo, Hollywood Casino Perryville’s director of marketing, said part of the reason why numbers were a little lower was because May had four weekends, as opposed to April’s five weekends. Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest for the casino, he said.

But DeLeo said he hopes the casino will be able to hold its revenue numbers steady through the summer by giving incentives to keep visitors indoors.

Visitors will be able to win gas grills on Saturday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., as casino officials will give away five grills each hour. The casino is also having its first outdoor party June 25 in hopes of drawing a bigger crowd.

Being able to stay open two hours later on weekends will also help the casino during the summer, DeLeo said.

Gov. Martin O’Malley signed legislation in May that allows casinos to stay open until 4 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Perryville casino’s first extended night was May 13.

“We are still seeing business in those last two hours, but we’re still getting the word out,” DeLeo said. “Not everybody knows yet. But this time of year is perfect for it, since people are staying out a lot later.”

Between both of the casinos, the state has received $90.4 million since late September, when the Perryville casino opened.

The largest portion of the May revenue, $6.4 million, will go to the state’s education fund. The casinos keep one-third of the revenue.

Pennsylvania’s 26,319 slot machines averaged $254.36 per machine in May, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.