A recent report has detailed the fact that casinos in Maryland are struggling to compete with their online counterparts in the difficult current economic climate. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission released details that showed that the state’s physical casinos only generated $165.2 million in revenues for the whole of November 2022. This is 4.5% less in gaming revenue compared to the same time period last year.
The fact that Maryland’s physical casinos suffered a fall of revenues of $7.7 million in November further illustrates the difficulties that these bricks-and-mortar gambling establishments have in keeping up with the rise of social casinos like those reviewed at The Grueling Truth. While Maryland doesn’t currently offer any legal real money online casinos, social casinos offer players the chance to play online slots and table games for free.
Not only is the fall in gaming revenues bad business for the state’s casinos, but it has also had a knock-off effect on financing the state’s coffers. This is because the six casinos in Maryland only managed to generate $50.6 million in taxes for the Education Trust Fund in the state which is over $1 million less than the contributions paid the previous year.
Testing times for physical casinos
Maryland has previously enjoyed a positive relationship with its casinos. Gaming establishments such as the MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino & Hotel and the Horseshoe Casino have all helped finance a number of social projects in the state as well as providing a source of employment for many citizens.
However, such physical casinos are struggling to adapt to the online climate. Social casinos have emerged to give players the chance to play a wide variety of slots and table games from the convenience of a computer, smartphone or tablet. While there is no real money gambling involved, the fact that players use virtual credit to play means that there are none of the risks associated with regular gambling. Plus many social casinos use a sweepstakes gaming format which means that players can win prizes like gift cards and merchandise for taking part.
Plus there’s the fact that the US as a whole is struggling to adapt to soaring rates of inflation and the several interest hikes that have been implemented by the Fed which impacts the possible spend at casinos. While Governor Moore’s budget plan will prioritize public safety and hope to end child poverty, it might not offer any relief for the state’s struggling casinos.
Hope from legalized sports betting in Maryland
The fall in revenues at Maryland’s casinos is all the more surprising considering that the state has recently relaxed its laws to allow for mobile sports betting. It was hoped that the change would encourage more people to bet on sport at one of the physical sportsbooks within the casinos, but the positive effect has yet to be felt.
This is despite the fact that legal sports betting in Maryland enjoyed a much more positive reception than many people would have anticipated. The state saw $497.1 million in revenues both online and in-person in December which is a figure that clearly dwarfs that taken by the state’s physical casinos in the previous month.
It’s important to note that this came at a pivotal time in the NFL season, but it’s still a sign that there is a real hunger for online gambling in Maryland. Whether this is enough to cause the state legislature to consider a move to legalize real money online casino gaming is questionable, but there is little denying the fact that Maryland’s casinos are set for another difficult year.