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Md. casino revenue sets monthly record

(The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

(The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Maryland’s five casinos set a new record in May, posting $96.3 million in revenue.

The record, which surpasses the old high-water mark of $91 million set in March, came during a month when Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore posted lower than expected revenues as a result of the April riot and soaring level of homicides that followed in May. The overall state figures exceed last month’s revenue by more than $7 million and are $20.5 million more than the same time a year ago — a period before the opening of the Baltimore casino.

Maryland Live Casino  continues to be the most successful of the five operating casinos. The Hanover facility reported more than $58 million in revenue for the month. The figure represents a nearly $8 million increase month over month but a decrease of nearly $1.5 million or 5.8 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

“Looking forward, May is going to actually end up being the best month of the year by far for Maryland Live,” Robert Norton, president and general manager of Maryland Live told the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission late last month.

The month was the best of the year to date for the casino.

Meanwhile, just 10 miles up the road, May was the worst of the year so far for the only casino in Baltimore.

Horseshoe Casino, which has been open slightly more than 9 months, reported nearly $22 million in revenue for the month — a decrease of more that $1 million or more than 4.6 percent.

“April was actually on pace to be our best month, we saw some great momentum,” Chad Barnhill, senior vice president and general manager of Horseshoe Casino told lottery officials a week ago prior to the release of the revenue figures. “May has continued some of the sluggish return of business not only for Horseshoe but for downtown in general.”

The casino was forced to close early because of a curfew imposed by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Barnhill added that the riot which followed the funeral of Freddie Gray as well as the curfew and ongoing media coverage of 42 homicides in the city, the most in 40 years, all contributed to lower than anticipated revenue.

Hollywood Casino in Perryville reported generating more than $7.1 million in combined revenue from slots and table games — an increase of about  $200,000 month over month. The figure represents a decrease of more than $704,000 compared to the same time last year.

The Casino at Ocean Downs reported generating nearly $5 million from its slots-only operation. The figure represents a $700,000 increase month over month and a nearly $273,000 increase compared to the same time last year.

Rocky Gap Casino in western Maryland generated more than $4.2 million in revenue from its slots and table games — a nearly $300,000 increase over April. Compared to last year, the figure represents an increase in revenue of nearly $478,000.