BERLIN — Against the backdrop of the first meeting of the governor’s special task force on expanding gambling last Friday and the official opening of the state’s latest and largest casino Wednesday, the May numbers for the Casino at Ocean Downs were released this week, revealing a significant spike over the prior month and the fourth highest total ever at the Berlin facility.
Much was happening on the gambling scene in Maryland in the last week. Last Friday, the governor’s Work Group on Expanded Gambling met for the first time to begin studying a potential expansion to table games at Maryland’s slot facilities including Ocean Downs. The group, made up of state lawmakers and other stakeholders, is attempting to prepare legislation for consideration during a special General Assembly session in July that could result in getting an expansion to table games in the form of a referendum on the November general election ballot.
On Wednesday evening, the state opened its third and largest casino to date, the Maryland Live facility at Arundel Mills in Anne Arundel County. At a “soft opening” last Saturday, an estimated 7,500 people turned out to play the facility’s existing 3,100 slot machines and electronic table games. By comparison, the Casino at Ocean Downs is currently operating with 800 machines. When completed, the Maryland Live facility will have 4,750 slot machines, making it one of the largest venues in the country.
Meanwhile, the May revenues for Maryland’s two existing casinos at Ocean Downs in Berlin and another in Cecil County, were released this week, revealing a significant jump over the prior month and over the same month last year. The Casino at Ocean Downs grossed $4.4 million in May, representing the fourth highest monthly total in the young history of the facility.
Naturally, the casino’s revenue numbers spiked upward last summer when a high of $5.3 million was recorded in July. Last August, the number dropped back down to $4.6 million and held steady at the same figure last September, before dropping back into the $3 million range for much of the winter and spring months.
The Casino at Ocean Downs grossed $4.07 million in March before dropping back down to $3.8 million in April.
With the release of May’s numbers this week, the revenue climbed back up to the $4.4 million range. The May 2012 figures for the Casino at Ocean Downs increased by over $773,000, or 21 percent, over May 2011. The gross gaming revenue per machine last month increased to $179.87 in May, up from $159.66 in April. The local impact grant for Worcester County in May increased to $245,347.