Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Lottery will deal with Hollywood Casino after special session

Hollywood Casino Perryville‘s request to shed between 400 and 500 slot machines at its Cecil County facility won’t be addressed until after the General Assembly’s special session, according to the state’s lottery director.

Stephen L. Martino said he was not sure how the Maryland State Lottery Agency, which oversees approved casinos, would deal with Hollywood’s request.

“There’s not a process, this is the first time we’ve received a request like this,” Martino said. “We’re going to have to study it. Frankly, I think we’re going to wait and see what comes out of the special session and see how anything that occurs there that might affect this request.”

An executive for Hollywood operator Penn National Gaming Inc. wrote a letter to Martino last week saying that slot machines were going unused since the opening of Maryland Live Casino at Arundel Mills mall in Hanover, which has cut into Perryville’s revenue by 40 percent since the casino’s March 2012 peak.

Revenue was expected to decrease at Perryville as other state casinos began operating. The opening of Harrah’s Baltimore, slated for 2014, is expected to further cut into Hollywood’s market.

The revenue downturn has been exacerbated by the phased opening schedule of Maryland Live, which will continue to add new slot machines and amenities until reaching full operational strength with 4,750 slots, a concert venue and five restaurants by November or December.

“By the end of August, they’ll have Rams Head Live entertainment going on. We expect sometime in September or October the entire facility will be open save for the The Prime Rib,” Martino said. “By November or December, The Prime Rib will be open. There’s going to be a series of changes that’s going to entice people to come back to the casino.”

And, perhaps, keep them away from Hollywood Casino Perryville.

“I think, clearly, we’re in the midst of a very dynamic time,” Martino said. “I think it’s going to be very difficult for us to get a gauge on what the consistent level of activity [will be].”