Coronavirus pandemic cost a casino in Maryland at $480 million, tax payments decreased by $194 million
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic at the Maryland Casino, gross gambling revenues (GGRs) plummeted and gains fell by more than 27 percent.
Maryland casinos pay some of the highest tax rates in the country. Slot machines are taxed at 40-60 percent, and the three largest properties – MGM National Harbor, Maryland Live and
Horseshoe Baltimore – include more than three resort facilities – Rocky Gap, Hollywood Perryville and Ocean Downs. Board games are taxed 10% across the state.
All six Maryland gaming centers were forced to suspend operations on March 16. The reopening took place on June 19. Gaming halls limited attendance to 50%, and visitors and staff were required to wear face masks.
“Casinos have been collaborating intensively with each other, sharing best practices in developing their reopening plans,” said Maryland Gordon Medenika, Director of the Lottery and Gambling. “It was a great collaboration with all parties, and special attention was paid to ensure that casinos became safe for both employees and customers.”
“Visitors get used to the new game world over time” added Live! CEO Anthony Faranca on quarantine compliance.
Three resort casinos opened on June 19. Larger rooms opened later, Horseshoe on June 28, MGM and Live! June 29
The June GGR amounted to $ 34.9 million, which is 75.5 percent less than in June 2019. Live! won $ 15.8 million from players, MGM $ 8 million, and Horseshoe $ 2.6 million. Three casino resorts together raised about $ 8.5 million.
Despite the fact that playgrounds and hotels are open, in the foreseeable future, GGR will continue to decline year-on-year due to restrictions.
The bulk of tax revenue from casinos in Maryland is used to finance public education.
During the fiscal 2019, the Maryland State Education Trust Fund received $ 542.7 million in the form of taxes from the casino. This amount fell to $ 396.8 million in 2020 – a decrease of $ 145.8 million.
Casino taxes also support the horse racing industry, local communities, small businesses, minority businesses, and the state general fund. All FY2020 contributions were reduced due to coronavirus.
Before the pandemic, the Maryland gaming industry flourished. In fiscal 2019, GGR hit the record $ 1.76 billion.
Since the first state casino opening in 2010, commercial gambling has benefited Maryland for $ 3.4 billion. Riders received more than 504.2 million dollars, and local cities – almost 468 million dollars.