The disappointing start to the Horseshoe Casino continued this month, with gaming revenues declining to $725,000 a day in October from $746,000 a day in September, according to figures released tonight by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.
Because there are 31 days in October (compared to 30 in September), the monthly total for the Russell Street facility rose by $92,000 to $22.48 million.
The casino is making money, but, as The Brew reported last week, it is not generating the kind of income that would generate a large source of “community impact funds” that were promised to South Baltimore communities. (Casino revenues are divided into many pots, including the owners’ share, state education trust fund, horse racing purse, minority and women-owned business account, and community impact funds.)
Community impact funds dropped to $693,959.49 in October, compared to $733,369.79 in September.
The October results are in keeping with impact funds of about $7 million for fiscal 2015 (ending June 30, 2015) – a far cry from the city’s original estimates when the casino was being promoted as an “economic engine” for Baltimore.
Maryland Live! Revenues Rebound
Tonight’s figures also indicate that Horseshoe Casino has not made much headway in peeling away customers from its nearest rival, Maryland Live!
The Anne Arundel County casino boasted revenues of $50.3 million in October – or more than double those of Horseshoe. After suffering a 10% decline in year-to-year revenues last month, Maryland Live! bounced back in October with a $4.7 million gain in gambling proceeds.
RECENT BREW COVERAGE OF THE CASINO:
• Police are “donating” officers on overtime to watch over new casino (11/4/14)
• City projects much lower community revenues from Horseshoe Casino (10/31/14)
• September revenue from Horseshoe Casino is 34% below city estimate (10/6/14)
To those in the gaming industry, Horseshoe’s less-than-stellar results are in keeping with the overall weak condition of the business in the Northeast, which is considered “oversaturated,” especially in Atlantic City, the onetime sole outpost of legalized gambling in the region.
A gaming industry analyst (who requested anonymity in return for his candor) told The Brew that his team had estimated that Horseshoe would generate about $27 million in gross revenues a month after its opening.
He called the $22 million gross generated in September and in October disappointing for the facility’s investors and for its financially challenged part-owner/operator, Caesars Entertainment.
The analyst warned that monthly revenues of under $20 million would mark a danger point in which Horseshoe would not be generating enough cash to pay off its long-term debt and would have to consider reducing its payroll or increasing its “freebies” to attract more customers.