Casino revenue, purse contribution strong in 2021

After the second-highest revenue month in the history of casino gambling in Maryland, the amount generated for the Purse Dedication Account from video lottery terminals totaled $76.08 million in 2021, almost $10 million more than 2019 when the casinos were fully operational.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming Corp. in early January reported $172.90 million in overall gaming revenue in December, up 44.9% from December 2020, when the six casinos were operating under capacity restrictions because of COVID-19. The December number topped the $172.4 million in gaming revenue generated in May 2021 and trailed only the July 2021 figure of $180.1 million, according to the statistics.

In December 2021, the PDA earned $6.45 million, up 53.8% from $4.24 million in December 2020 and an increase of 19.7% from $5.46 million in 2019. Of the $6.45 million, 80% ($5.16 million) goes to Thoroughbred purses.

The December 2021 total of $76.08 million for the PDA represents an increase of 63.2% from $46.60 million in 2020 and is up 14.1% from $66.63 million in 2019. The Thoroughbred share of the PDA last year was $60.86 million. Purses earn 6% of VLT revenue at all six casinos—MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino & Hotel, Horseshoe Baltimore, Hollywood Casino Perryville, Ocean Downs Casino and Rocky Gap Resort Casino.

The Racetrack Facility Renewal Account, funded by 1% of VLT revenue at all six casinos, accrued $12.43 million in 2021.

"The combination of the holiday season and the launch of sports wagering at five of the casinos during December led to great results," MLG Director John Martin said in a release.

Maryland's first five sports wagering facilities—the only casino that hasn’t launched sports wagering is Rocky Gap—opened for business during December 2021 and contributed $469,297 to the Blueprint for Maryland's Future Fund, which supports a variety of public education programs. Each sports wagering licensee contributes 15% of its taxable win to the state. Handle in December totaled $16.55 million.

Three off-track betting facilities—Greenmount Station in Hampstead, Long Shot’s in Frederick and Riverboat on the Potomac—were approved for sports wagering licenses by the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission and expect to begin operations in the near future.

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