There have been few casinos in the last few years that have been as hyped as MGM National Harbor, which is a hotel located in Maryland about 10 miles from Washington, D.C. It cost about $1.4 billion to build and it opened on December 8 in a star-studded event with plenty of fanfare. Replete with star chefs like Jose Andres and Marcus Samuelsson, Sara Jessica Parker’s first official shoe store, and a Las Vegas resort-like feel, there was a lot of curiosity as to what type of numbers it would do. We finally have our first financial report and the numbers have been solid.
The general feeling is so far, so good for MGM National Harbor, which brought in an outstanding $48.8 million from their slot machines and many table games. That put MGM National Harbor at the top of the hill in terms of the amount of revenue that Maryland’s six casinos brought in. Maryland’s six casinos took in over $126.2 million for this month, which is a sizable increase from the first month in 2016, which was about $88.4 million.
Next in revenue was Maryland Live Casino, which reported about $44 million from their tables and slots, which was down over 15% from the previous year. Horseshoe Casino Baltimore came in at over $20.2 million, which was down over 14%. Hollywood Casino of Perryville came in at $5.8 million from tables and slots, down almost 5%. Casino at Ocean Downs brought in $3.7 million, down just over 1%, and finally, Rocky Gap Casino also reported around $3.7 million, which was down almost 12%. All of these casinos took a hit with the opening of MGM National Harbor and they’ll be hoping that their numbers rebound a little after the shine of a new casino wears off. That could be tough, though, as the MGM National Harbor has significant advantages in terms of attractions.
While the casinos all have similar gaming, the MGM National Harbor offers much more to the player. They have top-notch restaurants like the world-renowned Jose Andres and Marcus Samuelsson, well-known for Rooster in Harlem, New York and his role on the Food Network’s Chopped. There’s also a Shake Shack and a fantastic food court. Then there’s a classy spa and a theater that will welcome acts like Cher and Sarah Silverman. Putting the MGM National Harbor side-by-side to the other Maryland options is no comparison.
Once MGM National Harbor gets people in the door, they have over 3,400 slot machines and over 160 table games, so players have plenty of choice. They’ve partnered with some big brands to bring in some very unique slot machines, which is another big leg up on the competitors, who have somewhat out-of-date casino floors. On the Las Vegas strip, this would simply be one of the options in a crowded room. Alongside the Potomac River, the nearby casinos in Maryland don’t look nearly as good standing next to the MGM National Harbor.
The public has responded quite positively as early reports from players, as well as those who simply wanted to go and see the facilities, say that MGM National Harbor is an excellent venue. So far, the revenue reflects that.