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Tumbling dice: Baltimore area casinos still struggle against MGM onslaught

Revenues down 18% at Horseshoe from May a year ago

Above: The conservatory at the MGM National Harbor casino-hotel in Oxon Hill, Md. (Brew file photo)

MGM’s National Harbor casino continues to vacuum up the gambling dollars in Maryland, putting a pinch on both Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino and Anne Arundel County’s Maryland Live Casino.

Gambling revenues at Horseshoe were down 18.1% in May, or $5.2 million, from May a year ago, according to figures released by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.

May revenues at Maryland Live slowed by $13.2 million, or 22.3%, from May 2016.


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Opened last December outside of Washington, National Harbor racked up $50.6 million from both slot machines and table games in May.

That’s more than double the $23.6 million grossed at Horseshoe, which opened in 2014 on Russell Street in South Baltimore.

Local Impact Grants

Local impact grants generated by Horseshoe for Baltimore have also decreased due to competition from MGM.

Last month’s grants (which amount to 5.5% of gross video terminal revenues) were $692,417 – down nearly $175,000 from May 2016’s $862,940 total.

However, thanks to a change in formula for distributing the grants statewide once MGM National Harbor opened, Baltimore should be able to recoup the reduced funds going into this account, according to the Maryland Board of Revenues.

So far, the bulk of local impact grants has been used to fund additional police coverage around Horseshoe, plus infrastructure reimbursements to the casino, which is majority owned by Caesars Growth Partners and Rock Gaming (controlled by Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert) with some additional minority investors.

Small grants have been allocated for beautification and signage programs in communities around the casino, while other funds are going to a complete streets plan for South Baltimore and the development of a community benefits district.

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