BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Lottery and six casinos contributed $1.113 billion to Maryland in fiscal year 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The Maryland lottery’s profits fell just shy of last year’s record-setting figure. During the first few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, lottery sales dipped by nearly 30% before bouncing back during the final quarter of the fiscal year that ended on June 30.

More than $2 billion of lottery tickets were sold last year which allowed for the contribution of $588.7 million to the state’s General Fund which helps pay for many programs including education, the environment, public health and safety.

Maryland casinos were closed from March 16 through June 19 due to the pandemic and since reopening have been limited to a 50% capacity.

Casinos contributed $524.5 million to the state which also supports education, local communities and the horse racing industry.

This year’s contribution is a 15.1% decrease from last year’s record $1.311 billion contribution.

“When the pandemic began, we were truly in uncharted territory,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director Gordon Medenica. “But Lottery sales came roaring back, and the casinos worked diligently with us and with public health officials to prepare their reopening plans. We are still adjusting to this ‘new normal’ along with everyone else, and we are proud to continue providing vital funding for Maryland.”

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