PlayUSA Rewind: Maryland Casinos Have Record-Setting May

Posted By Nicholaus Garcia on June 9, 2021

Welcome back to the PlayUSA Rewind!

The summer months generally mean the legislative season is coming to a close. For others, this is the last chance to legalize gambling bills or risk waiting another year.

This week, Maryland casinos cash in on relaxed COVID-19 restrictions, Louisiana sports betting is a few steps from legalization, and Canada eyes sports betting as well.

For even more coverage, be sure and follow @VisitPlayUSA | @reporternickg | @brantjames for all the latest insights.

On the rewind:

Maryland casinos have record-setting month

Even without the addition of MD sports betting, the state’s six casinos generated a record-setting $172.4 million in gaming revenue for May.

MGM National Harbor was the industry leader bringing in $68.4 million. Maryland Live! and Caesars Horseshoe Baltimore each brought in $61.4 million and $19.5 million, respectively.

The big month contributed to $73.4 million in tax revenue for the state.

The takeaway: Once sports betting becomes official, each of the three above-mentioned casinos are expected to add retail sportsbooks and mobile wagering apps. The goal for regulators is to launch betting operations in time for the upcoming NFL season. Sports betting has proven to add additional revenue to state budgets, but it is by no means a silver bullet.

Louisiana sports betting on track by NFL season

Louisiana sports betting is coming.

The most recent hiccup appears to be added amendments to clarify how tax revenue will be divided.

Language in HB 697 combined with SB 247 creates the necessary framework and tax structure to make sports wagering a reality. The tax bill, HB 697, already sits on the desk of Gov. John Bell Edwards. Its partner, the Senate Bill, needs one more vote from the House to be complete.

Once everything is signed, 55 of the state’s 64 parishes will have the ability to offer sports betting. There will be retail sportsbooks at casinos, betting kiosks inside bars and restaurants through the lottery, and online sports betting.

The takeaway: This is a minor holdup that will not impact the anticipated launch timeline. A target launch date for sports betting would be before the start of the 2021 NFL season. This has been a standard across every jurisdiction — nobody wants to miss out on the most lucrative betting season in the US.

North Dakota tribe buys vacant lot in Las Vegas

What’s the best way to invest some extra money you have stashed? Why not buy a plot of land in Las Vegas – because that’s exactly what the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation did.

Known collectively as the Three Affiliated Tribes, the North Dakota tribes accumulated roughly $1.7 billion in tax revenue over the last decade from oil drilling on their reservation. In 2020, the tribes purchased 8.7 acres of land for $12 million.

According to tribal chairman Mark Fox, they could use the land to build anything.

The land is located off the south end of the Vegas strip and a little over 1 mile from Allegiant Stadium, the new home of the Las Vegas Raiders.

The takeaway: Possibilities are endless. Fox said ideas range from a tribal-operated casino to a pay-to-use parking lot. We already know Raiders tickets are a big buy on secondary markets. Perhaps a parking lot wouldn’t be such a bad investment.

Canadian sports betting could be a reality soon

Our neighbors to the North are a few legislative discussions away from legalizing sports betting.

A bill that would do away with the federal ban on single-game wagers recently passed through a Senate committee.

According to Canadian Gaming Association CEO Paul Burns, the bill will now be heard by the full Senate and, at its current pace, has the potential to legalize sports betting in Canada by September.

The takeaway: Companies are already preparing for this bill to pass and sports betting to become legal. PointsBet hired Nic Sulsky to lead the company’s Canadian expansion. BetMGM went a different route and created a partnership with NHL legend Wayne Gretzky as a brand ambassador. It’s time to look at Canada as a new investment.

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Market Teasers

This week’s Market Teasers are all about the impact of the Macau gaming sector. Wynn Resorts has a relatively large state in Macau and could see a decline in profits if COVID-19 restrictions remain in place. MGM Resorts International is hoping a fully functioning Las Vegas can help recoup revenue lost due to the pandemic.

Wynn Resorts Limited

$WYNN | $127.80 | -0.97% change

  • Wall Street analyst Jim Cramer said he’s not concerned about potential Macau border restriction due to the pandemic. Cramer said the stock is down, “that’s when you buy.”

MGM Resorts International

$MGM | $43.94 | 1.30% change

  • Although MGM has a small stake in Macau, its primary focus right now is the reopening of Las Vegas — which can now operate at 100% capacity. The company owns half of the Vegas Strip while its rivals, $LVS and $WYNN, own bigger stakes overseas. JPMorgan analyst Joseph Greff wrote, “We have increased confidence for a recovery in group business in September.”

** Market Teasers is not financial advice, nor am I a financial advisor. All figures were taken on June 8, market close.

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Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
Written by
Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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