Maryland Gambling Shows Growth, so Why Not Regulate?Published June 19, 2016 by Lee R
Each state has its own priorities, but the gambling figures often promise added revenue online.
While hardly any states in the US regulate online gambling, this does not mean that gambling is not gaining in popularity.
In Maryland, monthly revenues remains on the rise: the state´s five casinos reached an all-time high for the second consecutive month, bringing in $104.4 million in May after April´s record-setting take of $103.9, the first time state gambling revenues hit triple figures.
The jump was good for an 8.3 percent jump year-on-year according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Agency.
State Gaming Director Gordon Medenica acknowledged that "Maryland's casino business is on a roll" in congratulating the state´s casino partners.
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore was the top earner year-on-year with a 31.3 percent increase to $28.8 million in revenue, after a record month in April of $30.2 million.
Rounding out the 5 contributor casinos are Hollywood Casino Perryville, Maryland Live Casino (the state´s largest), Casino at Oceans Down, and Rocky Gap Casino Resort. With construction underway on the MGM National Harbor resort in Prince George's County and Maryland Live adding a hotel and conference center in Anne Arundel County, Maryland's casino market has been likened to a progressive jackpot, because it just keeps growing.
The Online Argument
So why doesn´t Maryland regulate online activity to increase those earnings? Analysts have attributed the upward trend to favorable economic conditions in the region and increasingly effective marketing, which would seem effectively transferable to the cyber environment.
Some adaptivity in current legislation has been shown by the legislature, such as the state´s 2015 decision to approve the elimination of 300 slot machines each and add more profitable table games.
Maryland Live president Rob Norton explained how the correction matched the supply to demand, serving to increase its (Maryland state) taxable revenue as a result of the specific gains achieved in slot revenue and table revenues after the adjustment.
Clear Disbursal Infrastructure
There is a cohesive system in place for converting revenues to state benefits, with casino operators paying the state 20% of the proceeds from table games and 67% percent of slot machines to help fund education and other programs.
These same taxation guidelines and disbursals appear applicable to online regulation, and more US states might benefit from gambling´s increasing popularity by just adapting existing taxation models to the online environment directly.