Ocean Downs Casino Sets New Revenue Record

BERLIN — The July figures for the Casino at Ocean Downs were released this week, revealing the greatest month ever in the nearly two-year history of the gaming facility along Route 589 just south of Ocean Pines.

While lawmakers were preparing to convene for a special session on the future of casino gambling in Maryland this week, Video Lottery Commission officials on Tuesday released the July figures for the three operating casinos in the state, including Ocean Downs. The Casino at Ocean Downs in July collected $5.75 million in gross revenue in July, the single busiest month in the history of the facility.

The $5.75 in gross revenue represents an increase of over $400,000, or roughly eight percent, over July 2011, which was the previous highest month ever. The July figures represent a continued upward trend in revenue for the Berlin facility from month to month, and from last year to this year. In June of this year, for example, the Casino at Ocean Downs grossed $4.4 million, up 16 percent from June 2011, which produced 43.8 million.

The gross gaming revenue per machine per day at Ocean Downs follows a similar upward trajectory. For example, Ocean Downs generated $232 per machine per day in July, up from the $183 per machine per day in June and the $215 per machine per day in July 2011. It’s important to note Ocean Downs added 50 machines last summer, raising its total from 750 to 800.

It remains to be seen if August continues the upward trend, but there is certainly room for improvement. Last year, the Casino at Ocean Downs, like most businesses in the resort area, lost an entire weekend in late August when Hurricane Irene shut down the mid-Atlantic region for two days and in some cases three days. Barring similar circumstances, the Casino at Ocean Downs could have a chance to make a lot of hay in August if the trend continues as expected.

Meanwhile, the Maryland Live casino in Anne Arundel County continues to be a juggernaut in just its second month of operation. The casino grossed $35.4 million in July, which is more than the year-to-date total for Ocean Downs. The Maryland Live facility grossed $351 per machine per day in July for its 3,700 VLTs.

The news was not as good in July for the Hollywood Casino in Cecil County, which saw its gross revenue decrease by over $3.3 million compared to July 2011. The casino grossed $6.9 million in July, which was down about 32 percent from July 2011. As a result, the Hollywood Casino is seeking a reduction in its number of VLTs.