Maryland casinos may see new forms of gaming – Cecil Whig

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland may see new forms of gaming such as “esports” or skill-based games after a panel of various gaming corporations presented information to a joint legislative committee this week.

This was the first time that the committee on gaming oversight has met since 2016, when they discussed fantasy sports. In January, Maryland became one of the first states to regulate daily fantasy sports.

There are 40 states with casino gambling across the country that bring in about $240 billion each year and support 1.7 million jobs, according to 2014 Oxford Economics and Gallup Polls.

Fiscal year 2017 gaming revenue numbers for the state’s casinos totaled $1.421 billion — $277 million more, or a 24.2 percent increase, over fiscal year 2016, Maryland Lottery and Gaming announced this month. These figures included revenues from Maryland’s sixth casino, MGM National Harbor, which opened in 2016.

Despite continual financial growth in the Maryland casino gaming industry, trends in the types of games played in casinos are beginning to shift, according to data from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

“As Maryland’s casino market matures, each of the six casinos is fine-tuning and adjusting its gaming floor to meet customer trends and demands,” said Carole Bober Gentry, managing director of communications for the Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

Table games are replacing slot machines in some Maryland casinos, where there has been a demand. In other casinos, slot machine use remains more consistent or has risen, Bober Gentry said.

Hollywood Casino in Perryville, Maryland, had 1,158 slots in 2013 and was down to 822 in August, while at Rocky Gap, there were 558 in 2013 and by this summer, 665.

National Harbor opened last year and had more than 3,000 slot machines on the floor at the end of August.


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