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Official: Maryland to lose $250 million in gaming amid virus

Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency Director Gordon Medenica (File)

Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency Director Gordon Medenica (File)

A Maryland official said the state could lose nearly $250 million in revenue from casinos and lottery games because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement was made Thursday during the state’s Lottery and Gaming Commission’s virtual meeting, The Baltimore Sun reported.

The multi-million dollar figure is what Maryland can expect to lose if the state’s six casinos, which were ordered closed March 16, remain shut until the end of June, Lottery and Gaming Control Director Gordon Medenica said.

“We’ve been working on procedures for casinos to reopen,” said Medenica. Although a date on opening up the facilities was not determined, Medenica said the state and the casinos are “dealing with a number of issues on social distancing and testing,” so they can reopen the businesses.

The casinos had originally sought to reduce the amount of people on their floors before they were ordered to close. So far, Medenica said the state’s casino revenue has been down nearly $66 million.

The revenue accounts for nearly $717.5 million of the $1.3 billion Maryland collects from gaming, according to the state. That money provides grants for communities around the casinos and supports the state’s education trust fund.

Venue closures because of the virus outbreak has also affected the state’s revenue from lottery games, which are down $20 million compared to the same period last year, Medenica said.

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