Reporting Derek Valcourt
HANOVER, Md. (WJZ) — Hitting the jackpot. It’s been just under a month since Maryland’s largest casino opened its doors in Arundel Mills.
Derek Valcourt explains jackpot winners aren’t the only ones raking in the cash.
The early numbers at Maryland Live! Casino have been impressive. They’re bringing in more than $1 million a day in gaming revenue.
The machines are on and the seats are full. In fact, Maryland Live! Casino estimates about 20,000 customers a day are rolling in through their doors. Gamblers seem to love it.
“Anything that’s new is always jumping,” said Hazel Elbert.
The winners are jumping for joy. Already, $169 million has been paid out to those with luck on their side. Several of the luckiest have walked home with $50,000 jackpots.
“One lady’s very first trip to a casino–we had given her an offer to come play and try. She hit on her first couple of spins. She didn’t understand what had happened until we started bringing her out the money. She’s just as happy as can be,” said Robert Norton.
After winners were paid, the casino made $28.4 million in less than one month of operation.
“I think that’s excellent. I hope they’ll keep it up,” said Benetta Waller.
The state gets 67 percent, so that means Maryland Live! has already paid more than $19 million in taxes, money that goes into the education trust fund. That makes it all a little less painful for those who don’t win.
“The children are important. Education is important,” said Cheryl Smoot.
“We have fun and if it puts money back in the community, especially if they put it back in the schools and the fire department, that would be good,” said James Young.
The casino is hoping their business will get bigger and better. Later this year, they’ll bring in another 1,600 gaming machines, a live entertainment venue and an additional restaurant.
The boom for Maryland Live! casino has meant a 10 percent drop in revenue for the Hollywood Casino at Perryville, according to Maryland lottery officials.