As casinos across the USA return to business as usual, so do Maryland casinos, except for smoking part of it. Yet, business is thriving in these casinos. In fact, they are doing better than before. While the casino industry advocates for guests to smoke on the gambling floor, Maryland is banning it.
But the Gross Gaming Revenue is higher than pre-pandemic. For example, Maryland casinos generated $172.9 million in May, marking the highest earning ever. In June, the revenue reduced a little, resulting in an income of $161.5 million.
Still, this was 12.6 percent better than 2019’s June. There are six commercial gaming properties in Maryland.
Five of these recorded a higher gaming revenue as compared to June 2019. But, horseshoe Baltimore recorded a decline.
Despite having June 2021 compared to 2019’s, Horse Baltimore recorded the third-highest gross gaming revenue in June this year. It earned $17 million, which is a decline of 8.9 percent from 2019’s June. Live! Casino & Hotel came in second with $58.4 million in revenue.
MGM National Harbor had the highest gross income of $63.7 million, an increase of 12 percent from 2019’s June. The other three properties each had a double-number increase in revenue, bringing to a total of $22.3 million revenue collection for June. These properties include Rocky Gap, Hollywood Perryville, and Ocean Downs.
Maryland State Law Shows Business Can Thrive While Protecting Employees
Maryland state law requires all casinos in the state to operate in a free-smoke indoor environment. This law has protected employees and other guests who could be exposed to the dangers of secondhand smoke. According to the Association of Non-Smokers Rights, gamblers across the country have a choice to go to another non-smoking gambling platform. Yet, employees have no option but to continue working in environments exposed to secondhand smoke.
President Cynthia Hallett believes it is time for Atlantic City casino and Pennsylvania casinos to protect their employees by implementing long-term policies. Atlantic City casinos have dedicated 25 percent of their gaming floor to indoor smoking. On the other hand, Penn has designated 50 percent of each casino’s floor to indoor smoking.
While the casino industry believes that going smoke-free would affect business, the Association of Non-Smokers Right believes otherwise. They cite Maryland’s casino’s thriving business.
18 States Prohibits Indoor Smoking in Casinos
There are 25 states with either racinos or commercial casinos. Nine of these fully prohibit smoking in gambling facilities. These include Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, South Dakota, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, and Colorado.
All other casinos have a designated area where smokers can do their business, away from gambling floors. Atlantic City casinos or New Jersey might be the latest state to join states prohibiting indoor smoking.
The editorial team at The Star-Ledger yesterday called the state’s legislature to ban indoor smoking in casinos. The largest circulation newspaper’s editors said that lawmakers must prioritize this season in the coming session, citing that employees could not hold their breath forever.
The Newspaper’s team noted that the Casino Association of the state had said they would be disadvantaged if they did not allow smoking. But casinos were yet to prove how revenues in the first three months of 2021 were better than those in 2019.
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