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MGM National Harbor Sees Robust Revenue Growth Driven By Table Games

The newly-opened MGM National Harbor casino in Maryland has received approval for a $27 million gaming expansion program. The expansion comes even as the operator records robust growth in its gaming revenue.

Since its opening in December last year, the casino has netted $300 million in gross gaming revenue.

Contrary to industry norms, the primary driver behind this remarkable growth has come from table games.

According to the latest data from the state regulator, slot machines accounted for 53 percent of gross gaming revenue for National Harbor while table games contributed to 62 percent of its post-tax revenue.

Other casino properties in the area typically depend far more on slot revenue. Casinos in Pennsylvania recorded a 73 percent contribution from slot machines in May 2017 while casinos in New Jersey have brought in a little over 70 percent from their slot machines.

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The preference for slots is evident on the floors of National Harbor. Alex Alvarado, Vice President of Slot Operations noted that they were attracting casual players rather tha professionals.

In a statement Alex Alvarado said,

When you walk through MGM National Harbor and you see blackjack games at 10 am with $25 limits, you can see that there’s just a lot of excitement. There’s a lot of not really seasoned gamers but just people looking for entertainment.

National Harbor currently features 126 banked table games plus another 39 non-banked games. Combined these tables have generated $136 million in gross revenues since opening. The slot machines on the other hand number around 3,237 in the casino and they have grossed around $152 million in the same time period.This translates to a slot-to- table ratio of nearly 53 percent which is lower than the state average of 61 percent and much below the 64 percent of National Harbor’s rival Maryland Live!.

The impact of this trend is seen in the final revenue earned by MGM after all mandatory payouts.

Around 66 percent of the slots revenue is directed towards various causes. This meant that MGM effectively retained only $67 million of its $151 million in slot revenue. However for table games, just 20 percent of the revenues is directed towards mandated causes, which has meant that MGM has retained $109 million of the total $136 million revenue generated.

Experts attributed this trend to the company managing to take advantage of the state’s skewed taxation rules.


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