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Losing streak: Horseshoe Casino continues to slide

Above: Saturday night gambling at the blackjack tables.

September’s results – the second lowest monthly gaming revenues ever recorded – have pounded another nail into the financial coffin that presently surrounds Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.

Simply put, the Russell Street casino has become an entertainment “has been.”

While still making money (as nearly all U.S. casinos do) and still crowded with bodies on a Saturday night, the five-year-old facility on Russell Street is increasingly unable to attract the gamblers and gambling dollars that once made it a regional destination.

Monthly revenues have skidded at Horseshoe throughout 2019 compared to 2018, 2017 and 2016, according to figures compiled by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

The results hit rock bottom in August when revenues dropped to their lowest level since the casino opened in 2014.

Figures released today show a modest rebound from the low in August, but nothing resembling a turnaround.

Figures for September, released today by MLGCA, show a modest rebound from that low, but nothing resembling a turnaround.

Last month, the casino earned $18,564,509. That’s a 31% decline from September 2016, when Horseshoe generated $26.9 million in revenues.

Overall, the casino is currently taking in only 1 of every 9 gambling dollars spent in Maryland.

It has been outstripped not only by MGM National Harbor in Prince George’s County, but, more significantly, by its closest rival, Live! Casino at Arundel Mills.

Live! Casino generated $47.7 million in revenues last month, or nearly three times the amount at Horseshoe.

MGM National Harbor recorded $57.7 million in revenues in September, according to MLGCA.

Not as Advertised

This is not the outcome that was promised by former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who described the casino as an economic “game changer” and “anchor institution” for the city.

Revenues were projected to grow substantially during the casino’s first 10 years of operation. Instead, revenues expanded modestly through 2016, then began a contraction last year that accelerated in the spring and summer of 2019.

Total gaming revenues from Maryland’s six casinos in September were $142 million, a 1.1% decrease compared to September 2018. Horseshoe’s financial doldrums contributed to the dip of statewide totals.

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